Emery craps out

Sens goaltender Ray Emery is no stranger to controversy this season. (SUN MEDIA/Errol McGihon)

Sens goaltender Ray Emery is no stranger to controversy this season. (SUN MEDIA/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Ray Emery gambled and he might have lost.

The troubled goalie showed up late for practice yesterday after spending the all-star break in Las Vegas and may have played his final game in an Ottawa uniform.

Emery could be facing an indefinite suspension without pay after he showed up at the rink at 4:04 p.m. yesterday for the club's 4 p.m. practice.

Instead of returning to Ottawa for the club's 1 p.m. charter to Long Island yesterday, players were given the option of meeting at the Islanders practice facility.

Emery? He just landed in another mess of trouble when he strolled into the rink late.

While Emery went immediately to the dressing room after arriving, he was informed by the coaching staff that he wasn't welcome on the ice for practice in preparation for tonight's game against the Islanders at Nassau County Coliseum -- which is where a source said Emery thought practice was being held.

Whether Emery went to the wrong rink is unknown.

Senators coach John Paddock, choosing his words carefully, said he'd speak to the media about the issue today after sitting down with GM Bryan Murray and Emery to find out what happened.

COACH WON'T COMMENT

"I don't want to make any comment on it right now," said Paddock. "We were going to go on the ice at 4 p.m. and when he wasn't here, then it's done with and it's done with until I talk to (Murray) and we both talk to (Emery) ... I don't know."

Emery sat briefly on a bench watching practice, then went back to the dressing room and left the building 45 minutes before players came off the ice. There was talk he was on the team bus during the workout, but that couldn't be confirmed.

LONG LIST OF ISSUES

If it was the first time Emery had been late, he would likely be given a pass by the organization, but it isn't and that's why he could be dealt with harshly.

His issues go back to last season when he missed a plane in the playoffs before a game against the Devils after getting into a car accident.

This season hasn't been much better for Emery. Taking longer than expected to recover from off-season wrist surgery, the netminder had his work ethic in practice questioned by Paddock and captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Last month, a day after having a fit and throwing his stick in the stands, Emery showed up five minutes before an 11 a.m. practice and was told to "beat it" by Paddock.

A league source said if the Senators suspend Emery without pay, Murray had better be prepared for a fight with the NHL Players' Association, which would file a grievance on Emery's behalf.

Paddock was asked if the organization should go the suspension route because this isn't the first time Emery has embarrassed the club?

"I can't comment on it. (Murray) is in town. I talked to him just before the team went on the ice," said Paddock. "We'll talk to (Emery), sometime in the next (24 hours) and see what (the) plan is."

While the players will acknowledge Emery has become a distraction, they say it's up to Murray to deal with it.

"I don't know why he was late or what the problem was. Nobody has really seen him. We're going to have to see why he was late before saying anything about it," said Ottawa assistant captain Wade Redden. "We know he's not the kind of guy who goes by the book all the time. There's good and bad to that."

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HAIR-RAYZING EXPERIENCES

Ray Emery has hardly been a stranger to controversy. Here are some of his recent headline-grabbing incidents:

- In February, Emery is suspended three games for hitting Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre in the face with his stick after Lapierre crashed the net. Twelve days later, in his first game back, Emery and Sabres goaltender Martin Biron square off before Emery takes on Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters, who had grabbed him. Both goalies receive game misconducts and Emery gets hit with two fighting majors.

- In May, before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-final series against the Devils, Emery gets into a fender-bender on Hwy. 417, dinging his white Hummer while rushing to the airport to catch the team's flight to New Jersey. Emery is uninjured and signs autographs after the incident, but misses the team charter and has to take a commercial flight. Emery is ticketed for making an unsafe lane change. He also wins the game in New Jersey, sending the Sens to the conference final.

- In September, driver Jean Therien claims an irate Emery verbally attacked him after the 65-year-old Kanata man accidentally cut him off on the Queensway. Therien says Emery stopped his Hummer in front of him on the Palladium Dr. off-ramp and began yelling threats at him through the window. Therien reports the incident to police, but no charges are laid.

- In December, Emery is sent home from practice, with team officials claiming he is not feeling well. The next day, a sheepish Emery admits he was late for practice because he slept in and was told to leave by Paddock. The incident occurred a day after Emery, still not fully recovered from off-season wrist surgery, slammed his stick during an outburst apparently fuelled by a lack of playing time.


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