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Friday July 5th, 2013

Goaltender Ray Emery has signed with the Philadelphia Flyers Ray Emery returns to the Flyers with a real chance to be their starter next season. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Multiple sources are reporting that former Chicago Blackhawks backup goaltender Ray Emery will sign with the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon.

It's a one-year deal that will pay him $1.65 million.

Emery was an astonishing 17-1 with the Hawks this season, but those were heavily protected results and he had no chance of usurping the No. l job from Corey Crawford. He'll have a legitimate opportunity to earn that responsibility in Philadelphia, where he previously played during the 2009-10 season, going 16-11-1.

He'll battle Steve Mason, who had a 1.90 GAA and .944 save percentage in seven games with Philly after being acquired from Columbus at the deadline. Neither is expected to maintain those kind of numbers over a complete season, but the hope is that the competition will drive each man to his best performance.

While Emery is a rasonable add for Philly, they really had no other legitimate options. With virtually no room available under the salary cap, the Flyers were limited to investing just over $3 million in their two keepers. Once Boston signs Tuukka Rask and Toronto inks Jonathan Bernier, Philadelphia will have the lowest-paid tandem in the league.

The duo may offer up more consistent goaltending than the departed Ilya Bryzgalov and if they do, that's a huge win for GM Paul Holmgren. But Flyers fans have suffered through seasons of afterthought netminding before. And it hasn't been pretty.

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