Flyers re-sign Emery to back up Mason

Flyers goalie Ray Emery. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

While many of their Metropolitan Division rivals got better, the cap-strapped Flyers were unable to make any major moves Tuesday when the NHL free-agency period opened. They did re-sign goalie Ray Emery to be Steve Mason's backup.

They also signed forward Blair Jones, 27, to a two-way contract.

New general manager Ron Hextall claimed he was not frustrated that the Flyers couldn't be big players during the free-agent frenzy, saying sometimes teams overspend and have "buyer's remorse."

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 a .903 save percentage. He was 1-2 in the playoffs against the New York Rangers and was slow to react on post-to-post moves, compiling a 3.49 GAA and an .888 save percentage in three starts.

"I wanted to help the team," Emery said of his pay cut.

The Flyers are about $1.2 million over the $69 million salary cap, but teams can go 10 percent above the cap in the summer.

"You always want to earn as much as you can, but I'm happy to be in the same spot," Emery said. "I get to stay somewhere where I'm comfortable."

Several backup goalies signed free-agent deals, including Justin Peters with Washington, Thomas Greiss with Pittsburgh, Anders Lindback with Dallas, Al Montoya with Florida, Evgeni Nabokov with Tampa Bay, and Devan Dubnyk with Arizona.

Jones had two goals in 14 games with Calgary last season; he also had 17 goals in 38 AHL games. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has seven goals in 128 NHL games and probably will start the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Hextall said nothing was imminent on the Vinny Lecavalier trade front.

"As far as I'm concerned, Vinny could be in a Flyers uniform in September," Hextall said, unconvincingly.

The GM said he wants to sign a defenseman and added that he had interest in Moorestown's T.J. Brennan before he signed Tuesday with the New York Islanders.

Hextall said that even if the Flyers had cap space, they would not make an offer to restricted free agents such as Montreal's P.K. Subban and Columbus' Ryan Johansen.

Earlier in the day, the Flyers signed veteran goalie Rob Zepp to play with the Phantoms. Zepp, 32, who received a one-year, two-way contract for a reported $600,000, has played in Germany for 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 be a mentor for 20-year-old Anthony Stolarz. The Flyers did not re-sign goalie Cal Heeter, 25, who had a strong season with the Phantoms in 2013-14.