While many of their Eastern Conference rivals got better, the cap-strapped Flyers were unable to make any major moves when the NHL free-agency period opened Tuesday, but they did re-sign goalie Ray Emery to be Steve Mason’s backup.
Emery, who will be 32 when the season starts, signed a one-year deal for $1 million. He earned $1.65 million last season, when he was 9-12-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. He was 1-2 in the playoffs against the Rangers and was slow to react on post-to-post moves, compiling a 3.49 GAA and .888 save percentage in three starts..
Mason and Emery have a good rapport, and that - and the inexpensive contract - played a role in the signing.
"I wanted to help the team," said Emery of his pay cut.
Added Emery: "You always want to earn as much as you can, but I'm happy to be in the same spot.I get to stay somewhere where I'm comfortable."
After the season, Mason said Emery helped him return to the rookie-of-the-year form he displayed in Columbus.
"If Mase has a year like last year, and I can contribute a little bit better than I did last season, I'll be happy," Emery said. "...I wasn't happy with my season, but team-wise, as the season went along, we got better and better."
Earlier in the day, the Flyers signed veteran goalie Rob Zepp to play with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Zepp, 32, who received a one-year, two-way contract for a reported $600,000, has played in Germany the last seven years. He was selected by Carolina in the fourth round of the 2001 draft, but has never played in the NHL.
With the Phantoms, Zepp is expected to divide duties with Anthony Stolarz. The Flyers did not re-sign Cal Heeter, 25, who had a strong season with the Phantoms in 2013-14.