ANAHEIM -- John Paddock fired more shots at Ray Emery yesterday than the wayward Ottawa goalie has faced all season.
The former Senators coach, speaking to the media for the first time since he was fired last week, believes his handling of the controversial goalie is the No. 1 reason why he was canned.
After having five days to ponder what went wrong, Paddock said he should have been tougher on Emery and would have accomplished a lot by throwing him off the ice when he refused to work hard in practice.
Paddock admitted getting fired was tough.
"I don't think there's any initial reaction. You know the team is not playing good and it's one of those situations where anything can happen," said Paddock. "Whether you sense that or know that, it's very upsetting and hard and a little bit disappointing at the same time."
Paddock said Emery's antics of showing up late and not working hard were "a little bit of the fraying of the team core or concept.
"One of the things I would do over is the (Emery) stuff," Paddock said during a conference call. "Not really the tardiness. The tardiness has been there the last couple of seasons. I don't think there was really any change in how he was handled. When it came to being late five minutes before practice or five minutes after, I didn't let him practise.
"I should have put him off the ice when he wasn't working. I'm not talking about coming out early or staying late. It's just during practice. That would have been that accountability that they talk about. That's the one thing I would do differently."
None of this is news to Emery. Paddock let him know how he felt during a meeting Wednesday in Philadelphia after GM Bryan Murray informed the team that he was replacing Paddock as coach.
"(Emery) and I had quite a talk when he came to my room after it happened," said Paddock, who will remain with the Senators in a scouting role. "I don't know that I needed more respect from him than anybody else did because I was with him for six years. All I'm saying is we're not talking about anything different than last year or this year. I don't think that he owed me anything more than to just be a pro. That's all I've ever (wanted from him). He got bigger than life with the goaltending thing in the playoffs last year.
"He thought as the No. 1 goaltender, he should get the job back when he comes back from injury because that's what happens elsewhere.
"True, but the team started 15-2 and (Martin Gerber) had a lot of wins in that span. You should get (the job) back. I agree with that principle, but you shouldn't get it back just because you were a No. 1 before. You should get it back because you do the full amount of work to get your game back in practice. Then you'll be given the time in the games, even if you play poorly. But you have to put in the time, no matter who you are."
Paddock said he and Murray both spoke to Emery about getting his act together.
"I know on the talk shows when (Emery) showed up late (in Long Island) that people wanted us to send him down and all that stuff. Well, Bryan couldn't do that. Your hands are always somewhat tied," said Paddock. "You have to work with what you get. That's a minor thing to kick someone off the ice for practice, but I think it's major in this case. I don't know what else we could have done. I know for a fact I met with him three or four times about tardiness or not working and Bryan met with him three or four times (about) the same subjects.
"There's only so many things you can do. There's one more I could have done and I wish I could have done it. I told (Emery) that."
When asked for a comment yesterday after practice -- how appropriate -- Emery refused to talk to the media.