Ray Emery will be free to sign with any interested NHL club if, as expected, he clears waivers.

As expected, the Ottawa Senators have parted ways with Ray Emery, placing the goaltender on waivers.

The Hamilton native was a distraction to the team during the 2007-08 NHL season, as he was fined for disciplinary reasons and essentially benched for the rest of the year when Bryan Murray took over for John Paddock as coach in late February.

Emery earned a substantial raise after helping Ottawa to an appearance in the Stanley Cup final in 2007. He still has two years, worth a total of $6.75 million US, left on his contract.

Given the baggage from the previous season and his price tag, Emery will clear waivers. At that point, he will be free to negotiate a deal with any interested NHL club.

Because he's yet to turn 26, NHL rules allow Ottawa to buy him out for a third of his remaining salary. That amount, just over $2 million US, can be spread out over four years.

Murray said in April he preferred not to have to buy out Emery. However, the split between the club and player was made so public that it hurt the Senators' leverage for a potential deal.

Emery admitted at season's end that he should have handled things differently when he lost his starting role to Martin Gerber.

Emery made a splash during the 2007 playoffs, when he posted a 2.26 goals-against average and three shutouts to lead Ottawa to the finals.

He began the 2007-08 season recuperating from a wrist injury. In 31 games, he posted a 12-13-4 record with a 3.13 GAA and a save percentage of .890.

Emery, 25, has eight career shutouts and a 2.71 goals-against average in 134 games in the NHL, all with the Senators.

With files from the Canadian Press