Emery: 'I like the guys here'

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

A "few months ago" Ray Emery told the Senators it might be best they trade him.

Although it doesn't always look like it, the tardy 'tender has since changed his tune.

Emery showed up early and put in a decent day's work at practice yesterday -- noteworthy in regards to the 25-year-old goalie who has had problems finding both his watch and motivation this season.

Later, Emery shot down any notion that his rule-breaking ways are an attempt to add to his flashy wardrobe with a different NHL jersey.

"I like the guys here," said Emery, insisting he wants to stay an Ottawa Senator. "I like the fact we have a competitive team. It's a good place to play.

"I get along with everyone on our team. Hockey-wise, I've been disappointed and having an off time, but that's one part of my life."

His most recent trouble came when he arrived late for the first practice back from the all-star break, for which he was fined. Again yesterday, he called it an "honest mistake," which means it would have been made even if he was the undisputed No. 1 goalie. But such is not the case.

Coach John Paddock is sticking to his "win and you're in" plan, which means Martin Gerber will play again tonight against Boston. The demotion has not sat well with Emery.

"They say show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser," Emery smirked. "I don't think it's a bad thing that I'm not happy that I'm not playing."

It was with his back up over being a backup that Emery talked to GM Bryan Murray about a possible relocation.

"To be honest, we did have a conversation at one point, and he thought we were pointing the finger at him," Murray said when asked if Emery had requested a trade.

"But in my last couple of conversations with him, it's been the opposite. He told he wanted to be here. He liked this group of people. He even told John and I that he respected us and what we had to do (Tuesday). I think that's a step forward for Ray."

Emery shrugged off with a chuckle the suggestion by former boxing great George Chuvalo in a Sun story that he is a "troubled" man.

"The hockey thing is one thing, but there's a lot of different stuff going on for me at least that's positive," said Emery.

What kind of things?

"Everyday life, man," he said with a laugh and a grin. "I went on a decent trip, I've got good people around me, good friends and stuff, so that's half the battle there."

As for getting his motivation back, Emery added: "There's kind of a light at the end of the tunnel thing where you see the playoffs coming around, you can see different things shaping up, and the year starts getting more important, more exciting. So yeah, I'm starting to kind of get the itch to get in there and battle."

Ottawa can only hope.


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