Sens' Emery late for practice once again
1/28/2008 10:32:43 PM
Ottawa Senators' goaltender Ray Emery has tested head coach John Paddock's patience once more by showing up late for practice following the All-Star break.
Emery showed up four minutes after the team took the ice for a 4pm skate at the Farmingdale Iceworks practice facility in Long Island on Monday as the team prepares to face the Islanders Tuesday. He was then told not to join the team on the ice for practice.
"I decided we wouldn't go on the ice until 4pm and when he wasn't here, it was done with until I talk to him and talk to (Senators general manager) Bryan (Murray) or we both talk to Ray," Paddock said after practice.
Sources tell TSN that Emery maintains he was late because he thought the practice was at the Nassau Coliseum, not the Islanders' practice facility.
Paddock has stated in the past that he likes his team to be at their practice facilities an hour before they hit the ice. For the second time this season Emery did not show up early enough for his coach's satisfaction.
This is just the latest of several incidents involving Emery, who signed a three-year, $9.5 million contract in the off-season after helping lead the team to the Stanley Cup finals last year.
Emery was also late twice for team flights last season and was involved in a fender bender prior to the team's second round playoff game against the New Jersey Devils.
The off-season started poorly as the Cayuga, Ontario native underwent wrist surgery prior to the start of the campaign. He was also involved in a "road rage" episode with an elderly motorist on a Ottawa highway. The motorist claimed that Emery had threatned him and vowed to file a lawsuit, however nothing has developed from that.
As Emery rehabbed his injury, he watched the Senators flourish with Martin Gerber in net over the first month of the season. After his return, Paddock openly questioned Emery's work ethic to the media after he failed to show up to an optional practice when he was trying to earn more starts in net. Captain Daniel Alfredsson was also critical of Emery, stating that "to work hard in practice to show that you want to play."
The saga continued in December as Emery lashed out in anger in practice after showing up late. Emery sent water bottles flying by slamming them with his stick and left the ice in a huff. He then followed that up by being sent home from practice by Paddock who was unhappy that Emery had shown up just five minutes before he was set to take the ice.
Paddock's reason at the time was that Emery had been sick.
"He got here a little bit late he wasn't feeling good," Paddock told the media at the time. "I told him not to practice it was too late. He wanted to still practice. I told him not too and it was best he went home for the day."
The next day however, Emery admitted he was sent home for being late and it had nothing to do with being ill
"Yeah - I just slept in yesterday and got here late and the coach just told me to beat it."
Less than two weeks later, the goaltender made headlines once more for all the wrong reasons as cameras caught him and team enforcer Brian McGrattan engaging in fisticuffs in practice. Both players laughed it off, however it had become apparent that Emery was becoming a bigger distraction off the ice than his performance on the ice warranted.
In 20 games this season Emery has a 8-7-3 record with a goals against average of 2.95 while posting a save percentage of .891. Despite his play, the Senators lead the Eastern Conference with 66 points.