Is there even a Ray of hope left?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Ray Emery looked like a school kid coming out of the principal's office.

After meeting with Senators GM Bryan Murray and coach John Paddock, the downcast look on the wayward goalie's face revealed what the message had been: Shape up or else.

About the only people who want anything to do with Emery right now are the media and he wasn't talking to us.

Instead, he left the rink with nary a word because he believes this latest fiasco has been blown out of proportion.

WRONG RINK

Emery, who was the first goalie off the ice after the morning skate yesterday, was contrite during the meeting with Murray and Paddock. He even tried to avoid the mess by flying into New York on Sunday afternoon from Las Vegas to make sure he'd be on time for practice.

Then, according to Emery, he spent two hours trying to find the practice rink in nearby Syosset after realizing it wasn't at the Nassau County Coliseum (Nobody at the Coliseum recalled seeing Emery in the building Monday).

It's easy to suggest the Senators trade Emery, but nobody else in the NHL wants to touch him. Just ask Murray. The GM has tried to send the troubled goalie out of town, but there's not a team in the NHL that wants a goalie who can't show up on time to practice.

"He's a good goaltender. The options are somewhat limited," said Murray. "You don't go find other goaltenders quickly in this league. I don't think that if I went to (Islanders GM) Garth (Snow), he would pass me a goaltender.

"Ray is not a big practice guy. He told me that last year. He loves to play. He's competitive and intense. Everyday practice is not his (priority). We've asked him to get his game in better order. That means practice is important."

League executives told the Sun that Murray scouted the NHL market earlier this season to see if anybody wanted Emery. The Lightning was interested, but GM Jay Feaster could only make a deal if it was dollar-for-dollar, which wasn't Murray's top priority.

It's believed that Murray also spoke with the Kings, but GM Dean Lombardi had mild interest. At the time of Murray's calls, Phoenix was also looking for a goalie, but the Coyotes have since solved their woes by picking up Ilya Bryzgalov from the Ducks.

If the Senators can move Emery by the Feb. 26 trade deadline, it's believed they might make a pitch for Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson because he has playoff experience.

"I don't really want to trade Emery," said Murray. "I'd rather he just stayed here because he can help us."

Or maybe Emery is trying to force the Senators into dealing him.

He doesn't like the way things get magnified in Ottawa media, but he's his own worst enemy.

POOR WORK HABITS

Showing up late for practice after the all-star break is just another indication that maybe Emery doesn't care about his future with the Senators.

Murray told Emery he'd better learn to live with it.

"We just want him to be a regular player. Work hard in practice and play when given the opportunity," said Murray. "To be fair to him, he's somewhat frustrated by the lack of games he's gotten. He feels he's a guy that likes to play more often than he's been playing."

For that to happen, he has to work harder in practice.

"As teammates, there's not much we can do. It's disappointing. It's unacceptable for that to happen ... again. Hopefully, he can learn from it," said Ottawa centre Mike Fisher. "It's frustrating for us because it's not fair to (Gerber) either with one goalie on the (ice)."


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