Emery returns to practice

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

All Martin Gerber can do is keep stopping pucks. Just like when he turned aside 52 shots in the Senators' 4-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday in London.

But his biggest battle won't be stopping shots from the opposition. It'll be trying to wrestle the No. 1 goaltending job away from Ray Emery, who last year won the right to tend the Senators' net on most nights.

Emery was back in the Senators' net in training camp yesterday for the first time since wrist surgery in June. While Gerber has asked to be traded, he won't go down without a fight and is determined to see if he can force coach John Paddock to put him back in the net.

'OUT OF MY HANDS'

"You're hired here and you want to play here," said Gerber. "It's out of my hands to decide what's going to happen, but I want to work as hard as I can and go from there."

There's no question Gerber is in a difficult situation. He'll be back in the net tonight against the Washington Capitals in the Senators' exhibition home opener.

Making $3.7 million US, Gerber told GM Bryan Murray in the off-season that he didn't want to be here if he wasn't going to get the chance to play. Since the Senators couldn't find any takers on the trade market, Gerber has to play well enough to make himself valuable enough to get dealt.

Gerber said he's no longer focused on getting traded.

"I really just want to get some ice time and I just want to get myself in as good a position as possible that they have to put me in net," said Gerber.

"I just want them to play me. I'm just trying to help the team get better. Everything else, I really don't have control over. Whatever happens, happens and they're going to do what's best for the team. What's that going to be? Nobody knows."

As the Senators skated onto the ice at Scotiabank Place for Day 5 of camp, Emery practised for the first time and he'll make a pre-season start next week.

Recovering from the June 21 surgery to repair ligament damage to his left wrist, Emery took shots to the glove side, a couple getting past him.

"It was good to be out there," said Emery. "My hand has felt pretty good. I've actually done more in the mornings just with (Mike Fisher) and a couple of the injured guys.

'ON THE RIGHT TRACK'

"Definitely I'm on the right track as far as the wrist goes and my feet are kind of getting under me as well.

"Hopefully, I'll get three or so exhibition games and I'll definitely be ready for the regular season."

When Emery is ready to play, possibly next Tuesday against the Flyers at home, Paddock made it clear he is the club's top goaltender, but wants Gerber to push for playing time as well.

"(Emery) won the job last year. That's the way it is right now," said Paddock. "But both goaltenders are going to play. I don't think it's a 1A/1B situation, but (Gerber) needs to play.

"He needs to play for the team and for himself. I'm not looking at it as any more than we have two NHL goaltenders."


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