‘It’s been tough’ for Emery this season, but he’s happy to be back in the NHL (for now)

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Not many people expected to see Ray Emery back in the NHL, probably not even Emery himself. An unfortunate injury situation in Philadelphia’s crease has opened the door for Emery’s return.

With Michal Neuvirth and Jason LaBarbera both on the shelf, Steve Mason and Anthony Stolarz were the only healthy goalies in the organization on NHL contracts.

Emery’s had a crazy year. After being released from his pro tryout with Tampa Bay during the preseason, he waited for another NHL opportunity to pop up. The wait made Emery miss a few European opportunities and forced him to spend some time with the AHL’s Ontario Reign and Toronto Marlies. He was finally able to latch on with the Mannheim Eagles in the German League.

“It’s been tough,” Emery said, per CSN Philly. “I went to Tampa’s camp and got released from there. I was just kind of waiting to see if something popped up in the NHL. In the meantime, I missed the boat on the European things and stuff like that. I ended up bouncing around.

“I love the game and I still want to play, so I stuck with it and want to play next year, maybe go to Europe. It makes you realize how special your time is in this league, but at the same time, I love the game more than anything. I want to keep playing.”

For now, it looks like Emery will continue to stick around on a tryout basis. It’s unclear how long he’ll be around, but keeping him as an insurance policy can’t hurt.