Ray Emery made an appearance on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg on Monday and addressed several issues regarding what happened last season with the Ottawa Senators.
"It started off tough and I just didn't uphold my end of the deal," said the former Senators' goalie. "I thought I deserved certain chances and instead of working for them, I pouted a bit."
Emery helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup final in 2006/07 but after signing a big contract with Ottawa last off-season, he had troubles in 2007/08.
A wrist injury caused him to miss the opening of the season and strong play by Martin Gerber cut into Emery's playing time.
There were other issues and Emery did not shy away when Landsberg asked about his problems showing up late and behavior at practice.
"I seriously have a tough time showing up on time," he said. "I smacked a water bottle around one day and they said that was me pouting because I wasn't playing, but really I was just pissed off because I didn't do well that practice."
The OTR host then asked if the January 28th incident where Emery was late after going to the on wrong facility on Long Island was a form of protest against the club.
"I wasn't trying to make a statement, (January 28th) was after the All-Star break and I went to the game rink and they were at the practice rink," explained Emery. "I apologized for it then, it was my fault but like I said, I'm not the guy who's really nervous about being late."
The 25-year-old took heat for the Senators' late season collapse and over distractions he may have caused the club but he said he did not feel the team made him a scapegoat.
"I think my actions were amplified and everyone wanted to see what was happening but it wasn't me who was losing games, it was me who had a stupid little sideshow going," he said. "I think it got some attention but I don't think (the Senators) thought it was me who lost the playoff round."
When asked for his thoughts on the Senators' troubles after a strong start to the season and their quick playoff exit, Emery explained he thought the team lost their confidence.
"I think it was a panic thing. The team started off so strong and when there was a bit of insecurity there, maybe (the Senators) started to panic and collapse even more."
Emery mentioned that he had made some changes in his life and Landsberg asked for more detail.
"I got myself in shape and just started to re-think the ways I went about things," he said. "I'm not going to go into detail but I want to say I made myself a better person and athlete, family member, everything. It was a thing I felt I needed to do and I'm really glad I did it."
Landsberg then asked point-blank about the rumour regarding a drug problem and Emery gave a clear answer.
"No, I don't have a drug problem."
The netminder explained that he thought the rumour was just a result of being seen out at clubs and admitted that the Senators had asked about it.
Emery recently signed a one-year contract with Atlant Mytishchi of the Russian Continental Hockey League. The deal is reported to be worth more than $2 million (US) and when the topic of why he would go to Russia came up, Emery admitted he could have stayed in the NHL but decided to make a change.
"I could have grinded it out and try to get a job here but at one-tenth the salary and it's an opportunity," he told Landsberg.
"Like I said, I want to change things about myself, wipe the slate clean and move to a new place."