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Emery, Senators agree on three-year, $9.5 million deal

TORONTO -- Ray Emery and the Ottawa Senators avoided salary
arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a three-year deal worth $9.5
million that makes him one of the NHL's highest paid goalies.

Emery, 24, was a restricted free agent. He will earn $2.75
million next season, $3.25 million in 2008-09 and $3.5 million in
2009-10 -- for an annual average of $3.16 million, a big raise over
the $925,000 he made last season. He will be an unrestricted free
agent at the end of the contract.

"I like the fact we have three years with him," Senators
general manager Bryan Murray said. "He's young, we believe he's getting
better and we'll certainly know that at the end of this contract."

Emery's average eclipses the $2.66 million average salaries
earned by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and Carolina's Cam Ward, and
is less than the $4.25 million, one-year deal signed by New York Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.

Emery's deal was struck just before the two sides began their
hearing at a downtown hotel, when Murray got clearance from team
owner Eugene Melnyk.

Emery emerged as Ottawa's starting goalie last season and led
the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance. He went 33-16-6 in the
regular season with a 2.47 goals-against average and .918 save
percentage. He was 13-7 with a 2.26 GAA and .907 save percentage in
the playoffs.