The story has been beaten to death over the last 72 hours or so. Ray Emery will face off against his old team, the Ottawa Senators, this evening at the Wachovia Center. But let's clarify a few things.
First off, half of the team that Emery played with during his Ottawa tenure, which lasted from 2005 to 2008, have moved on to greener pastures. In fact, as Flyers Goal Scored By pointed out yesterday, only seven of Emery's former teammates will likely be in the lineup tonight. One of those players is Jason Spezza, one of Sugar Ray's best friends. Actually, Emery was a member of Spezza's wedding party this past summer. But that's no different than the Flyers playing against Martin Biron and the Isles, or Chris Pronger playing against the Ducks. It's just another game.
Secondly, most of Emery's Ottawa problems stemmed from his relationship with coach John Paddock. There was no secret that the two weren't very friendly, but Paddock is no longer behind the Senators bench. In fact, he's in the Flyers front office, and the presence of either personality has not caused any issues. Emery did have it out with former teammates Brian McGrattan and Chris Neil early in 2008, but those fights don't mean a thing now. McGrattan isn't even in Ottawa anymore. After all, Emery also had an altercation with Spezza during the 2007 playoffs, and the two obviously are very close.
Emery still has a home in Ottawa and family in that area. Living there for four years means you still have ties there, obviously. But those ties don't mean a thing on the ice. As Emery told reporters yesterday, "it's just a city."
Nevertheless, it will be an actual storyline when Emery and the Flyers travel to Ottawa for the first time in January. No doubt about it. The fans in the Canadian capital will give him hell and he'll have to block that out. That's not the case tonight, however, in front of the home fans in Philadelphia. As his former employer visits his new one, he'll just try to win another hockey game.