With wrist not 100 percent, Emery sits out opener

10/2/2007 - NHL Ray Emery Ottawa Senators + more

This is not the start Ray Emery likely had in mind.

The Senators goalie will not start in Wednesday's season opener vs. the rival Toronto Maple Leafs as he recovers from offseason wrist surgery. Martin Gerber will make the start for Ottawa.

"I had a date in my mind I wanted to play," Emery told the Ottawa Sun. "I thought I would be able to get a couple of games in before the start of the season, but I felt it was best, and the coaches felt it was best, that I make sure I'm 100 percent before I get in there. I'm just going to need some time to make it stronger."

Emery, 24, had offseason surgery to repair torn cartilage in his glove-side wrist. There is no timetable for his return, but the team said he will not be sent down to Binghamton for a conditioning stint.

"When [Emery] feels strong enough and comfortable enough to take shots at the appropriate time he'll be able to go," Senators coach John Paddock told the newspaper.

"I had some shots that didn't feel as comfortable for me," Emery said. "I just didn't have the confidence I need to get my game better to get back to where I want by working the wrist."

Emery, who surpassed Gerber as the Senators' No. 1 goalie early last season, finished 33-16-6 with a 2.47 GAA and .918 save percentage and helped Ottawa reach the Cup finals for the first time in the club's history. The Sens lost to the Ducks in five games.

In July, Emery and the Sens avoided salary arbitration as both sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $9 million that makes him one of the NHL's highest-paid goalies. He will earn $2.75 million this season, $3.25 million in 2008-09 and $3.5 million in 2009-10 -- for an annual average of $3.16 million, a big raise over the $925,000 he made last season. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the contract.

Emery's average salary eclipses the $2.66 million average earned by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and Carolina's Cam Ward, and is less than the $4.25 million, one-year deal signed by New York Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.