Speaking before the NHL draft in Ottawa, Senators general manager Bryan Murray said he had grown tired of the distractions caused by Emery last season, and wanted to "clean the slate" after hiring new coach Craig Hartsburg last week to replace him behind the bench.
After helping the Senators win the Eastern Conference title in 2007, Emery struggled this season and eventually lost the starting job to Martin Gerber in January. He was fined by the team shortly after for arriving late for practice, something he had done several times before.
Emery has two years and $6.75 million left on his contract. If he goes unclaimed, the Senators have the option to release Emery by buying out one-third of his deal.
Murray said he attempted to trade Emery this week, but couldn't find anyone interested. "And I wasn't looking for much," Murray said.
Emery recently completed his third full season with the Senators, going 12-13-4 with a 3.13 goals-against average and no shutouts.
His best season came in 2006-07, when he went 33-16-6 in 58 regular-season games. He was 13-7 in the playoffs and helped the Senators advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time before they lost to Anaheim in five games.