TAMPA, Fla. — Flyers goalie Ray Emery will miss the remainder of the season to undergo hip surgery, according to a team release.
[Emery] wasn’t prepared for what he heard Tuesday afternoon when told he must undergo bone graft surgery to reverse avascular necrosis – AVN – in his hip and will miss the remainder of the season.
Is his career in jeopardy?
“I don’t know,” Emery replied, “It’s not good,” he said with a painful laugh. “It’s not something that I definitely expected to happen. Especially, when I am 27 years old and I didn’t think I’ve played my best hockey yet.”
General manager Paul Holmgren said the bone graft should “alleviate” the issue.
The procedure, which will be done at Duke University Medical Center, is 95 percent successful in the general population, Emery said.
“But success is being considered mobile,” Emery said, “not playing professional sports. I don’t know. It’s something I have to get done. After that, I’ll do my best to get back.”
The announcement caused a buzz throughout Flyerdom as to whether the Flyers would turn their attention to the Islanders who are shopping Dwayne Roloson. His cap hit is $ 2.5 million. Roloson is out of the picture.
Asked whether Emery’s situation necessitated that the Flyers absolutely had to upgrade in goal, Holmgren said, “Not really,” adding that he’s comfortable with his pair now and that he would have no problem calling up Phantoms’ starter Johan Backlund, who he called, “outstanding.”
The Flyers had expected Emery would not play again, and seem comfortable with Michael Leighton in net. Also, people forget that Brian Boucher once took the Flyers to the Eastern Conference finals.
It’s not like the Flyers don’t have a playoff-ready goalie in the wings. Ask coach Peter Laviolette whether he believes in Leighton and his answer is a resounding ‘yes.’
A league source didn’t rule out perhaps upgrading the position with someone lesser who has playoff experience. Vancouver’s Andrew Raycroft has just a $ 500,000 cap hit if the Flyers go the cheap route. The Flyers want money left over to make two moves at Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Emery’s surgery will be performed by Dr. David Ruch at Duke University Medical Center. No date has been determined.