The guy McKeen’s forgot

AlexeiEmelin

My favourite hockey annual did not include an assessment of Alexei Emelin.
But Montreal-based McKeen’s staffer Cory Kornelsen was kind enough to pass along this assessment.

Finally lured to North America this summer following a breakout sixth term in the KHL (RSL) highlighted by a career-high 11 goals .. scored nine goals combined in his first five seasons – prior to busting out in the 2010 playoffs (22-5-8-13) .. represented Russia at the World Championship in May (9-0-0-0) .. tough, belligerent defender who knows how to use his prodigious strength .. not an explosive or elegant skater .. propelled by a wide, solid stride that has decent power .. strong and balanced on his feet – moves well laterally .. not a great backwards skater but transitions easily .. earns power play time thanks to a heavy wristshot that is quick and accurate .. demonstrates good shot preparation and play selection operating at the top of the umbrella .. always eager to engage his thickly-constructed frame which has filled in substantially since being drafted in 2004 .. militant patrolling the crease area – will punish intruders .. must focus on achieving better discipline and discretion .. prone to taking excessive interference and obstruction penalties .. fixates on playing the body and can lose track of the puck .. aggressive defending the cycle .. overpursues on coverage and often goes out of his way for the big hit – feeding a taste for revenge .. can really explode on his victims when his temper boils .. should add some intriguing pop to Montreal’s backline.

Emelin had better be good.

Very good.

Because the departure of underappreciated Roman Hamrlik creates a breach in the wall that protects The Franchise.

And if anything happens to Andrei Markov … again …

Well, let’s not even think about it.

And a 9/11 video:

157 Comments

  1. Black Snake Moen says:

    Boone, great 9/11 tribute choice. You’re one of the good ones.

  2. HabsFan1111 says:

    I remember when Lucic pushed Price on his back after the horn one game and no one did anything about it. I am truly hoping Yemelin fills that gaping void and calling him a “militant patrolling the crease area – will punish intruders” makes me feel optimistic.

    Here’s hoping …

    • fosterch says:

      Yemelin doesn’t seem to be that guy from what I saw at those phony world championships. He didn’t seem that strong on his feet and positionally was all over the place (tho the Russian forwards didn’t give him much help).

      What I’ve seen in the highlight reels, mostly offensive exploits, are juicy, but his penchant for running around and taking dumb penalties will wear thin. That’s the last thing we need – it killed us last year.

      Our season will go as Markov’s health goes, as usual. If he’s healthy, we are a contender, if not, we might set off some firecrackers, but not much more.

  3. HabsChris says:

    All these videos are doing their job. I’m getting way to excited for the season to start now. Its been extremely long summer.

  4. Eric37 says:

    Hamrlik was hardly a wall in front of the franchise.

    You think guys like Lucic were afraid of Roman Hamrlik?

    I’m going to enjoy watching this kid punish rats like Marchand.

    E.

  5. Dwayne33 says:

    I am going to play armchair G.M. I would like to trade Andrei Kostitsyn and Webber to New Jersey for Patrick Elias. Lines would be Pleks Cammy Cole(great #1 line)
    Gomez Gionta Elias(this would be good for Gomez)
    Eller Desharnais Pacioretty( a very reliable 3RD line)
    White Darche Moen (a very tough 4TH line to play against)

    Markov Gorges
    Subban Gill
    Spacek Emelin

  6. Mike D says:

    That Markov video got me SOOOOO jacked! Man, I can’t wait for Marky to return! If he can stay healthy and play at the level we’re used to, other teams are in for A LOT of trouble!

    *Disclaimer – Yes I realize that the purpose of those videos is to get people pumped up, but still. :-D

    – Honestly yours

  7. ProHabs says:

    I like that Emelin is 25. He will come in and not be intimidated by anyone as he has alot of experience with playing against men. It is not like he is 19 years old and not fully developed physically yet either. He should be strong and a big help to the blueline.

  8. Marc10 says:

    More than seeing Emelin, I’m very interested in seeing how all our D-me from 5 to 12 in the depth chart perform. There’s a decent amount of guys in the pipeline for essentially three spots on the team (assuming PK, Markov and Josh remain with the CH for the mid term).

    So you’ve got Emelin, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bennett, Diaz and the other guys just picked up…

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

  9. PeterStastny26 says:

    Finished reading the whole thing yesterday. Pretty instructive, as always. Simple, straight to the point. My favorite too, hands down. McKeen and Dobber are my main references comes draft day, and it served me well so far.

    That Emelin scouting report is icing on the cake. Thank you for that.

  10. Wheels says:

    Thanks man. I am sure we will be talking throughout the winter. Do u go to alot of games. Do u keep up with the team quite a bit. I want to get over there they say it is a lot of fun in Montreal.

  11. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think the Canadiens’ season entirely revolves around injuries. Not only the chance of sustaining injuries but the ability of Markov, Gorges and Pacioretty to come back from their injuries.

    If those players come back without missing a beat, or at least have it in gear by playoff time, the Habs are a cup contender. Barring the team suffering a pile of other serious injuries.

    With the addition of Cole and $4 million left in the bank to spend before the deadline, I’d say they’re a pretty deadly team.

    When people rate the Habs they automatically think of the injuries and jump to the conclusion it’s because they’re small. And because of that Montreal isn’t a serious threat to contend.

    Montreal was simply out gunned, because of injuries, against the Bruins and they even had them on the ropes. If you put Cole, Markov, Gorges and Pacioretty in that series; Montreal wins.

    So the Habs might not be able to punch it out with Boston but during the course of the game they can often outplay them for long stretches.

    If the Habs are healthy this year I put them on the cusp of being an elite team. A trade before the deadline would solidify that even further.

  12. AK_PK_Usay says:

    Some AMAZING posts tonight, props!

    This could be early, but:
    GOOOOOOOOOOO HAAABBBBBSS GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  13. youngwun says:

    Does anyone know if Emelin will be in nhl 12?? Hes not on the habs website in there team roster.

    • MikeMcLaren says:

      You’ll have to wait for a roster update. He isn’t in the initial roster as I’m playing it right now and he’s not on the Habs. He might not make it in on the first update because of the quirk where a player has to play an NHL game unless his preceding league has an agreement with EA Sports. Now that they have agreements with the NHL, AHL, CHL, etc most rookies will be in the game. With (Y)emelin playing in the KHL, they’ll have to wait for him to play his first game as a Hab.

      /\\ike
      GO HABS GO!

  14. Wheels says:

    Ya I might be a bit bias. He is my first cousin. Lives a mile down the road. I watched him since he started in red deer. He does have to toughen up but he can skate and pass. Edmonton oilers r my team but Montreal now is what I will be watching all winter I hope. Where r u from.

    • HabFab says:

      I’m from all over…living in the East now. You can check out info, how long they have been around and past posts, on the posters here by clinking on their avatar or where they could have one.

  15. Wheels says:

    I think that Woywitka will take out yemelin all day long. I watched Woywitka all year last year he will be there

  16. BoomBoomMax says:

    Grading the Montreal Canadiens

    Here goes nothing!

    Forwards

    Projected lines:

    Cammalleri-Plekanec-Coles
    Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Darche-Desharmais-White
    Engqvist-Palushaj

    Though many pundits might look at our forward lines and question our fire power, I am one who believes that depth can often outmatch game breakers. I also feel we have the right balance between playmakers, scorers and space eaters upfront and that will allow each contributors to perform their roles adequately. That being said, chemistry will have to be a key ingredients if we are to have success scoring goals.

    As many of us know, forwards also play a big role in defending the net, even more so, given Jacques Martin’s system. Again, looking at those forward lines, I feel comfortable they can be just as responsible defensively as any team in the NHL. With that in mind, I feel like none only, we have a pretty well balance offense, but we can also match up very well on the defensive side of the pond. Leadership and team work will be at the forefront if this group is to have success…

    Forwards Grade: A-

    Defensemen

    Projected pairings:

    Markov-Gorges
    Gill-Subban
    Spacek-Weber
    Yemelin

    As is the case with the forward lines, our defense is pretty well balanced. Though, slightly soft, it has threat written all over it, as all but 2 rear guards, can make an accurate first pass and transition on to the offense with ease. That should keep other teams honest and allow us to counter effectively. It should also make for less time spent in our own zone and less icings all in all.

    The one thing this defense is missing is pure rugged shutdown defenseman… Though PK can deliver a solid hit, he is not exactly a force in front of the net and Yemelin is yet to play a game in the big leagues. That leaves me wondering who will clear the front of the net, Hal Gill? Nonetheless, with help from the forwards, our defense should fair pretty well, but is more of a run and gun type D. The likes of Gorges, Gill and Yemelin will have to be at least on par with expectations if we’re to stick around as one of the best defensive teams in the NHL…

    Defensemen Grade: B+

    Goaltenders

    Price
    Budaj

    Though Price is coming off a career year, I feel, he has not yet reached his prime, and so things are looking good in that department. With a bit less of a workload, I’m confident Price can exceed expectations and be in the talks for the Vezina by season’s end. But the defense has to play on par as Carey is not super human and will need a consistent effort in front of him.

    Budaj comes in, expected to be an upgrade over Auld… I tend to agree with this statement. He’s a very athletic and sound netminder and should be able to take on some better competition than Auld did last year. After that, it drops significantly. If any of these 2 gets injured, we’re in for a bumpy ride as no one knows what to expect from the guys we’re employing in the AHL. For that reason, I have to be cautious in grading that position…

    Goaltender Grade: A-

    Special Teams

    It’s easy to assume that our power play with both Markov and Subban on the backhand, will be lethal, but one has to wonder who’ll be playing on the left side as both play better at that position on the man advantage. But I guess that’s a great dilemma to have. As the forwards are concerned, I’m more than thrilled with the abundance of combinations we could see this year, with players able to play all over the place past the other team’s blue line. Chemistry remains a key to any PP and ours will be no different, but with a bit of tweaking, it looks as we’ll have good numbers again this year…

    The penalty kill should raise a bit more questions with the departure of Hamrlik, Halpern and Pyatt, but I feel that Eller, White and Engqvist should be able to fill the void upfront. Though not as experienced, they have the skill set and dedication to be good penalty killers. On the back end, with Gill, Gorges, Markov and Subban (Yemelin could surprised in that department), we have plenty of go to guys. Last but not least, Price can take over any games and should be a stud back there…

    Special Teams Grade: A

    Coaching Staff

    Though some fans can be merciless in assessing Jacques Martin’s input as MTL’s bench boss, I, for one, am impressed with what he’s been able to achieve thus far. True, his system is taxing and his line juggling, mind bending, but he has found a way to win. I do agree that he’s a little hard on the younger players, but, all in all, the results have been there and our young core group has gotten better under his helm. I also expect, a lot more offense out of his team now that he has a line up capable of sustaining offensive zone pressure…

    Kirk Muller left a big hole in the coaching staff when he left earlier this summer and that could have an effect on members of our squad as he was known as a player’s coach. But seeing what the 2 Randy’s were able to do with a decimated team down in Hamilton, I have to be optimistic to see them join the big club. Will either of them be the players’ new confident? I don’t know… But I DO know that they were able to get the best out of an AHL team that on paper, didn’t exactly look a contender. As for the rest of the staff, they all bring something to the table and should benefit the team greatly, especially Pierre Groulx as Budaj never had a goaltender coach.

    Coaching Staff Grade: B+

    Front Office

    I know a lot of people have criticized Pierre Gauthier for his lack of activity this last off season. Some also feel he has been trading away too many picks for temporary plugs. Others question his overall vision, saying mostly that he fails to assess size and grit throughout the line up and seems to be high on small skilled players. I have but one thing to say to these people: How do you feel about the Detroit Red Wings? As far as I can tell, building a team around skills, chemistry, hard work and loyalty seems like a good plan to me.

    I also know for a fact that I hate the Bruins, the Flyers, the Leafs and all those truculent teams almost as much as I hate those scrimmages after the whistle… The Canadiens are a classy organization and PG has done everything in his powers to keep it that way. He’s trying to build a contender that will win, playing real hockey and that’s all I could ever ask for. Scouting has been good, asset management pretty decent and it seems, our team finally has an identity. All in all, Gauthier has been making this team better and better ever since he took over.

    Front Office Grade: A-

    Overall Grade: A-

    Let me know how you grade the team!

    Feel free to check out my band, Final Flash:
    http://www.myspace.com/finalflash
    http://www.facebook.com/finalflashfanpage
    Cheers!

  17. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE START OF THE NEW SEASON:

    1. Are you prepared to give Emelin a break on a few poor plays and dumb penalties while he gets used to the new club? And more important – is JM?

    2. Who are you more excited to see just take that first shift? PK, Price, Gorges, Patches, or Markov?

    3. Do the Habs need that depth forward (face-off and PK guy) many commentators still say they do?

    4. If there’s a spot, which rookie forward out of camp would you guess is most likely to find himself suiting up with the big club in October?

    5. Seeeerrrrriously…!!! Is there another annual event that is so dang frustrating to wait for than to see the Habs hit the ice? (Unless you belong to that cult of monks who only have sex once a year… you know the joke.)

    SD

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Me – why should he care? JM – I doubt it.

      2. Marky.

      3. No. I mean Yes. maybe. Dunno.

      4. Ryan White (is he still a rookie?)

      5. Several. Waiting for the end of winter in February. Waiting at the US border on a summer weekend.

    • naweed235 says:

      1. I am… I hope JM is too!
      2. Gotta say Patches… I’ll never forget the feeling I had when that hit happened… I was sure the kid’s life ended right there on the ice
      3. I think we do… We may start the season without one but eventually PG will trade a 2nd rounder for Dom.Moore… hehe which I actually wouldnt mind b/c I loved the guy when he was here!
      4. Palushaj
      5. Yes… to see the Bruins get eliminated…

    • MikeMcLaren says:

      1. Absolutely and probably.

      2. Given that he literally nearly died, I’m going to go with Pacioretty. What a great story it will be when he goes on to rip up the league as a power forward.

      3. Yes, just because it’s nice to have good, spare parts. I think Engqvist could probably fill-in and if so he’s a nice scouting find, but I feel as though Gauthier will go pick up a player at a bargain price to add some depth. He has shown that he is extremely adept at this in the past.

      4. I’ll go with the obvious and say Palushaj as it will give me extra lessons on how the hell to pronounce his name.

      5. This summer has been an eternity! DROP THE PUCK!

      /\\ike
      GO HABS GO!

    • neumann103 says:

      1. Absolutely. You have to. And while PG has to respect JM’s control of the team and not undercut him publicly he damned well better have told JM he did not go to all this trouble to finally get Yemelin across the ocean just to see him benched for three games in some kind of BS JM fit of pique.

      2. Markov. By a hundred miles, Markov. I understand everybody wants to see how MaxPac has recovered, but seriously, Markov. Did I mention Markov?

      3. It wouldn’t hurt, but who is out there worth chasing? Maybe Madden? They can afford to see if Engqvist can handle it, there is ap room to deal later. I would have kept Halpern. Of course, the year before I would have kept moore.

      4. Engqvist. See #3 above.

      5. Waiting for the day in April when the snow has gone to get out the Porsche .It is kinda like slow motion.

      “Et le but!”

    • i notice you removed your signature telling us not to panic if we see that your avatar has changed, is it safe to assume that this will be your avatar? if so, wayyyyyyy epic and totally worth the wait (and stress)

    • punkster says:

      1. As per JD’s comment below, I fully expect errors, dumb penalties and a benching at some point if he doesn’t get the message. The kid’s a rookie for all intents and purposes. If he’s smart enough he’ll learn (like PK). If not it’s back to the KHL.
      2. Max, no contest. Gorges and Markov didn’t face death. Those other two guys, well, I hear they’re pretty good and expect more of the same from them.
      3. Name one team in the league that couldn’t use one of those. Then name one who is available now. Then name one who may be available at the deadline.
      4. No idea, haven’t seen or learned enough about most of them yet.
      5. The HI/O Summit.
      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • 1. No and no
      2. Gorges
      3. No
      4. Palushaj
      5. Outside of holding our breathe to see IF Cobb manages to get Summit tickets, no.

      ___________________________________________

      Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

    • dasbooth says:

      1. Yes, as long as there is promise. I think so, he certainly did with PK. And a benching isn’t always (or regularly) the end of the world.

      2. Patches. Patches Patches Patches. I can’t wait to see what his first 10 regular season games are like. I hope the kids not only alright but comes back in force.

      3. Not now, let’s see what the kids can do. They deserve a spot to move into. I’d rather see PG get some depth in the press box before someone like Palushaj or Enqvist sits there vs. hamilton for 20 games.

      4. Palushaj

      5. Not since all the Harry Potter books came out. Wait what?

      “Shutouts are really more of a team stat” – Carey Price

  18. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld’s Prospect count down 35 thru 31;
    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=2576

  19. Da Hema says:

    I hate to say this, but Emelin’s image above looks an awful lot like Vladimir Malakov. *Shudder*….

  20. Exit716 says:

    Remember McGuire laughing long and hard about Montreal signing Hamrlik to that deal four years ago? I wonder what his take is on it now that he’s on one of Pierre’s pet teams?

    • Pretty sure he lauded that as one of the best signings of the summer on TSN. Talked about how Ovechkin requested Hamrlik be signed and how he was so great against Washington in the playoffs in 2010.

      http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

    • Sharks9 says:

      Pierre also ripped apart the Habs for drafting Carey Price. He’s a moron.

      25 before 14

      • MathMan says:

        He’s not a moron. He’s just doing professional development, trying to bolster his candidacy for the Habs’ GM job by panning virtually every move made by the organization in place.

        Man also never encountered a narrative he didn’t like. But I give him some credit because he’s one of the few color analysts who’ll actually talk about line matchups — a vitally important part of the game that most broadcasting teams barely even mention.

    • neumann103 says:

      I remember watching the TSN live tracking counter thingy and saying to myself “time to sign roman hamrlik for slightly too much money”. He was the best available player to fill the specific slot the habs had.

      I hope they are as fortunate with Erik Cole, who again most precisely fit the glaring need.

      “Et le but!”

  21. Trisomy 21 says:

    Reading that Yemelin has a “heavy wristshot” is extremely underwhelming. I always see rookie defensemen let wristers go from the blue line and they float to the crease if somehow it gets through. I understand that works in the minor leagues but not many goals come off wristers back there. I want Dmen with a cannon. Not some wrist shot.

    I like how the video of Markov shows that he’s Captain One Move on the shootout haha

    • scrowe21 says:

      Lol I can’t understand why you think having a heavy wrister could possibly be a bad thing. If Subban used his wrister more last year he would have scored more goals instead of winding up for the cannon everytime. See Drew Doughty.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        The Drew Doughty that scored 11 goals to PK’s 14? that Drew Doughty?
        I like him a lot too, believe me, I would probably pick him as my #1 Dman on my team. But his best asset isn’t his scoring.

    • Da Hema says:

      It is rare to see defencemen with heavy wristshots, but “cannons” from the blueline are not always ideal. Even the good NHL defencemen really have no idea where their cannons will end up (top shelf? at my teammate’s face…or huevos?). If you want an example of a Hall of Fame defenceman with a devastating wristshot, consider Denis Potvin. The wristshot is so dangerous because it can be controlled and used to pass to open teammates in a consistent manner. The objective for defencemen is to get the puck on the net. Firing a cannon that misses the net entirely is a useless play.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        When did Potvin play? when goalies still stood up? Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying oh hell he’s got a heavy wrist shot this is crap. I’m more like Oh, he has a wrist shot, but what about a slap shot?

        • Da Hema says:

          It’s not like Potvin played in the no forward pass era.

          Nothing is more frustrating than watching NHL defencemen unleash “rockets” that veer around the boards, disrupt momentum, and oftentimes lead to opposition transitions.

          Can we agree we hope this young man can get the puck to the net and to teammates effectively?

          • Trisomy 21 says:

            You’re right I hated watching Rivet blast the puck in the corner, but I also get frustrated watching Spacek loft the puck to the crease too. We will agree that we hope Yemelin can just do it his own way effectively

      • SmartDog says:

        I met Denis Potvin. Biggest paws I ever shook hands with. Thick like a baseball glove and big like an oven mitt. My hand felt like a small boys when we shook.

        *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

  22. BJ says:

    Anyone know an internet site to watch the Als game?

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Steelers opening game today! Just waiting on Habs opening day now.

  24. JustSomeguy says:

    The problem doesn’t seem to be, “How would Hamrlik fit into the lineup this year?” but rather, “How would Hamrlik fit into the lineup next year?”

    His career’s winding down. He doesn’t seem to be a mentoring type, something saving Gill’s career. And management seems to be projecting some new players coming into the Habs who will limit Hamrlik’s playing time in 2012.

    There are many players who are good enough to play in the league, but aren’t good enough to accommodate. And, in the best case scenario for Montreal, Hamrlik would be the 7th d-man on the roster next year. That’s not right for either Montreal or Hamrlik.

  25. JD_ says:

    Assumin’ the 223lbs on a 6’2″ frame is accurate, Emmy’s 1″ shorter but over 10lbs heavier than m’man Craig Ludwig, who also had a bit of a nasty streak, although apparently not quite as sinister.

    Ludwig was a textbook shot-blocker who wore ridiculous shin pads that made him look even more gargantuan. And Ludwig was a physical presence. This new kid clearly has superior density.

    But the league was slower back then and you could clutch and grab speedy forwards. Based on the skatin’ assessment, there’s gonna be growin’ pains. I won’t be surprised to see a few wayward, cringe-worthy ventures at the outset, followed by some time in the pressbox, and then, hopefully, a quick trip up the learnin’ curve.

    Worked for Poindexter Bentley. Didn’t work for OB. Hopefully, we’re dealin’ with the right chemistry.

    Not sure how articulate Emmy is in English. Absent that, it’s gonna be difficult for him to be disrespectful towards the league and its institutions. Maybe he can learn some hand gestures.

    I vividly remember Ludwig’s elbow on Chicago’s Trent Yawney in 1988. It was ugly. Yawney was out for five minutes with blood gurglin’ out of his mouth, eventually leavin’ the ice on a stretcher.

    Did I mention ugly?

    Ludwig ended up gettin’ five games. I recall goin’ to the Forum to see a game a few nights later – standin’ room tickets, every student’s dream – and there was some players’ wives fundraiser goin’ on. We saw Mrs. Ludwig and asked her about the whole scene, man. She was really pleasant, mentionin’ that her husband was beside himself, etc…

    It wouldn’t be Ludwig’s last suspension, as Teemu Selanne knows.

    Settin’ that aside, Ludwig was a tough customer, honourable Hab, and won a Stanley Cup in Montreal. Here’s hopin’ for more of the same.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I didn’t know those were shin pads, always assumed they were phonebooks (including yellow pages) inside his socks.

    • 24 Cups says:

      JD – A few days ago I may have inadvertently offended you by implying something that you may have interpreted as being directed at you. Or maybe it was just me.

      Trust me when I say the implication was directed at the HI/O masses rather than you as an individual.

      Keep on rockin’ in a free world.

      • JD_ says:

        If it’s any consolation, I don’t recall you makin’ any untoward comment, 24C. Then again, maybe a decade-and-a-half in the trenches has rendered me too thick-skinned to notice.

        Either way, I’m not likely to be offended by a class act.

        Neil Young, however…

    • Da Hema says:

      I loved Ludwig. But why he did that to Yawney of all opponents remains a mystery to me. Yawney was pretty innocuous.

  26. caladin says:

    Last year our D was in such flux that it’s hard to compare to.
    For me it’s Subban who replaces Hamerlick as the anchor of the second pairing.

  27. Timo says:

    Who was Markov fighting there?

  28. Hopefully Emelin will take a run at a few Bruins™

  29. HABSsince92 says:

    What’s better boys………

    317 Row AA or 301 Row EE?

    The Scott Gomez line………..where wingers go to die.

  30. rogieshan says:

    “Tough, belligerent…fixates on playing the body…prone to…penalties.” Yemelin’s scouting report reminds me of the former Hab, Igor Ulanov.

  31. RGM says:

    The Captain remembers 9/11: http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=588062

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  32. HardHabits says:

    Let’s play When Boone says, what Boone really means™

    When Boone says: Emelin had better be good.
    What Boone really means: Emelin better not get his ass kicked.

    When Boone says: Very good.
    What Boone really means: And body check Milan Lucic into the stands through the boards.

    When Boone says: Because the departure of underappreciated Roman Hamrlik creates a breach in the wall that protects The Franchise.
    What Boone really means: Josh Gorges is back.

    When Boone says: And if anything happens to Andrei Markov … again …
    What Boone really means: Cuz you know Markov has a target painted on his knee.

    When Boone says: Well, let’s not even think about it.
    What Boone really means: Discuss bitches and up the page hits ferkerchingsake!!!

  33. Marc10 says:

    I wouldn’t expect Emelin to replace Hammer. He’s new to the League. I expect he’ll get brought along slowly and benefit from watching/playing with our top 4: Marky, Subbidoo, Skilsie and our man Josh. If he lays out Marchand… Well that’s a nice bonus.

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    OHL report on the Subban’s

    Jordon Subban, playing right defense for the Belleville Bulls.
    He is 15 yrs, old and is already scoring goals in the OHL preseason games. He looks even better than his older brother PK did at 16.

    Both PK and Jordon brothers play defense, but with their speed and finesse, I just wonder what kind of Forwards they both would make.

    Middle brother Malcolm is patrolling the Belleville net at 16 yrs. old, and is going to be a top prospect in the cage as well.

    Jordon is 15 born Mar. 1995
    Malcolm is 17 born Dec. 1993

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I think Malcolm Subban already turned 17, he is draft-eligible this year so he’d have to have his birthday in a timeframe that makes him 2012 eligible (will turn 18 in late December I read).

      And pretty sure Jordan is 16, he’s a 2013-eligible and the only 15-year olds who play in the O were Spezza, Tavares and now Ekblad. Interesting to see about Jordan Subban is what he does in the O over the next two years and where that ranks him. The family has the scrutiny of the entire amateur scouting network of the OHL on them now. I’ve heard Jordan is looking better than PK at the same age, question is how well that progresses as he moves up the ranks. Some scouts had Jordan Staal to be the best of the Staal brothers (see how that’s going) or thought Val Bure looked better in his teens than Pavel. We’ll see I guess, but oh my it will be hard to MTL to pick off any more Subban brothers now that the secret’s out.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

  35. solomio says:

    Yemelin is in trouble before he starts as his rep as a hard hitting, dirty and truculent D man precedes him. Such D men are regularly challenged to engage in fisticuffs. Who is the first player Lucic is going to challenge at the first dance this year?
    Yemmy is not a good fighter and doesn’t want to fight.
    In order to avoid this he will will have to quickly change his style of play. Does he have the finesse?
    Prediction : Back to ( in ) the USSR. (poetic license)

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  36. 4m3y2j says:

    I like all the gazzette writers(Todd can be irksome at times)but Boones words need to be taken w/ a grain of salt.He is always the first to say’game over’ always the downer, he is the grim reaper of the montral press corps.Can be very insightful and I am all about pragmatism but this guy really loves to piss in your cornflakes…
    john slattery

  37. 24 Cups says:

    Based solely on Kornelsen’s assessment, two things stand out about Emelin. First off, it appears that his skating is average at best. I’m not sure if that is a concern or not. Can a guy improve his skating at the age of 25? Secondly, this is a player who will be able to clear the front our net and keep the attackers on their toes. Once he gains experience, he should make his opponents think twice about where they go on the ice and how they deal with our smaller players (and Price). Despite the events of the past few weeks, I seriously doubt the NHL is about to change how the game is played. There might be some token gestures at the beginning of the season, but the game will eventually revert back to what it has always been. That means that Montreal has to change a few faces in the line-up in order to deal with teams such as Boston, Philly and Toronto.

    Emelin is certainly not here to replace Hamrlik. I find it strange that so many people criticize what Hamrlik brought to the Habs. His role as an experienced 2nd pairing Dman changed abruptly the past two seasons as he had to step in and fill the Markov void. It was no wonder he was totally gassed out by the end of the season. The fact that Montreal offered him a new contract is all the proof you need that Martin and Guathier valued what he brought to the team. Washington must have also felt the same way seeing that they gave him a two-year, +35 contract to mentor their young defensemen.

    The only reason Hamrlik is gone is the fact that we are stymied by the final year of Spacek’s deal. I’d take Hamrlik over the Spaceman any day of the week.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Amen. Watching Hammer live and seeing the subtle things he did and his sound defensive play is totally different than the fragmented way hockey looks on tv.

      Thanks Hammer!

    • HardHabits says:

      We’ll be calling him sPAYCHECK™ if he plays up to his ability to earn another one for next season. ;-)

    • B says:

      “The only reason Hamrlik is gone is the fact that we are stymied by the final year of Spacek’s deal. ”

      Hamrlik was offered a 1 year deal but he wanted 2 years. Spacek is signed for this season (the one they also offered Hamrlik a deal for) but is not signed for next season (the one Hamrlik didn’t get from Montreal). What I am trying to say is that it doesn’t seem to me like Spacek is the reason Hamrlik was not offered the 2 year deal he wanted from Montreal.

      • 24 Cups says:

        B – My line of thinking was that four guys were a lock for the defense – Subban, Markov, Gorges and Gill. Youth must be served so Yemelin and Weber get the next call. Spacek gets the 7th spot because of his 3.8M, +35 contract. If the Habs had signed Hamrlik, I’m sure Spacek would have been traded to another team for ‘future considerations’. There is no way in hell Spacek is better than the Hammer.

        Regardless, there’s no chance I’m giving Hamrlik a two year deal whether it be Montreal or Washington. Guys his age who have lots of miles on the odometer should be signed year by year.

  38. JF says:

    Hamrlik was great, and I would have been happy if he had accepted the Habs’ offer. However, I’m not sure he’s worth the deal Washington gave him. Barring injuries, I think our defence should be pretty solid once the guys get used to playing together.

    What worries me the most is the fact that we did nothing to shore up our weakness in the faceoff circle. Halpern was our best faceoff man, and he was not replaced. There is talk of Engqvist, but last time I looked, his faceoff stats were not good. I really can’t figure out why Gauthier didn’t do something about this early in the summer while there were still plenty of options. Even now, it wouldn’t hurt to add someone, although the pickings are slim. Otherwise we’ll be tossing away more draft picks during the season to plug holes.

    • G-Man says:

      If any of the Habs “top prospects” can’t fill a 4th line role, that doesn’t say much for the organization. Getting more experience may come, but giving a young player a shot isn’t that awful a thing.

  39. Psycho29 says:

    Some happy news on this very sad day….

    Missing 3-year old BC boy returned safely to his parents.

  40. cuzzie says:

    The weather this morning in MTL is carbon copy of how it was 10 yrs ago. Beautiful, not a cloud in the sky.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  41. twocents says:

    “Emelin had better be good.
    Very good.”

    Feed the beast, Booner, feed the beast.

    Expecting Yemelin to be “very good” right from the start is a recipe for bitching and moaning.

    He just needs to play a simple and solid game while he learns the particularities of this league and adjusts to its pace. He can impose his character in a more emphatic manner when he knows the ropes. He is not a direct replacement for Hamrlik, as several players will be moving forward in their games next year and/or returning from injury. That void will be filled collectively.

    Besides Roman Hamrlik couldn’t fill the role that Roman Hamrlik has filled the last two years. With each passing year he is less the player that came here four years ago. By the end of the season and playoffs he wasn’t really filling the role he had been filling. Subban was filling at least half of it.

    I don’t mean to disparage Hamrlik he was awesome and money well spent in his time here, but the time is ripe to move on. So why linger?

    The answer to that question is: to sow discontent.

    • HabFab says:

      Full time job for him now buddy, has to keep that 20,000,000 plus annual page views going.
      Are you back? I have been trying to cover but afraid their only getting 1 and 1/2 CENTS out of me!! ;)

      • twocents says:

        Hey Frank, I pop in to read every now and then and from what I’ve seen folks are getting full value from you.

        I wouldn’t say I’m back, but I ain’t completely gone either.

  42. Chorske says:

    Ten years ago, right about now, no?

    Ten years, and my blood still boils when I think about it. And I can still relive the dread like it was yesterday: the announcers talking about how, on a typical morning, the towers had-what, thirty thousand people in them- and a few moments later, the first tower comes down.

    I’m still angry, if-I-had-a-rocket-launcher angry. But I’m also lucid enough to wonder whether we really learned the right lessons from 9/11.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Fair question Chorske.

    • twocents says:

      Thanks, Chris.

    • depends your definition of we

      • Chorske says:

        If you think for one second that the monsters who did this make any distinction at all between Canada and the USA, you are mistaken. They attacked the WORLD Trade Center. They despise Canadians every bit as much.

        • not what i meant at all

          i meant whom do you mean by we re: lessons learned, cuz judging by the current partisan tone in america, its tough to say

          • Chorske says:

            Gotcha. Apologies for sounding so cranky- I of course missed your point. ;)

            As a Canadian who is gladly living and working in the USA- and enjoying the experience- it drives me bonkers when my Canadian friends and relatives crap on the USA. So I have developed this tendency to jump to the US’ defence, in this case I did so needlessly. And of course, you are right about partisan politics, there is nothing worse for democracy, and clearly nothing has been learned.

          • no worries bro and im with you, i cannot stand preachy canadians giving it to americans, yes some gripes may be legit policy wise but being rude to an american you meet accomplishes what exactly?

            i also feel defensive tho, i have LOTS of american family

          • Chorske says:

            See, I never got the humor of Rick Mercer’s “Talking To Americans”. I always figured that if you went to Buttfuque, New Brunswick, and asked them about Delaware on TV, they wouldn’t look particularly smart either.

            Terry DiMonte used to have a much funnier (and not smug!) segment where he would take a caller, and ask the caller to decide whether a Gap manager in the USA would know the answer– and then they would call a Gap manager and ask the question! It was fun because the Gap managers (as you might expect) were always polite and game to play. I recall one day, the question was “name ONE Canadian Prime Minister” and the Gap manager said GARRY TRUDEAU! See? Funny without being jerky.

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    The essential trading of Hamrlik, Wiz, Sopel/Mara for Yemelin, Markov, Gorges and Diaz should be a clear upgrade for this team.

    Yes Hamrlik was dependable and logged alot of minutes for this team, but it was time to upgrade. I can’t wait to watch this new D unit make better 1st passes out of our zone.

    Gonna be a good year.

    Sad anniversary day today. Not only did many innocent people lose their lives that day but many more since all over the world as a result of what happened. Rightly or wrongly many more have paid the price for those fanatics who chose to kill innocent people to make their point, whatever it is.

    As Gman alluded to, as a result of that day many other parts of our daily lives have changed.

  44. G-Man says:

    My man Markov will return and be ready. Emelin is ready for the big league. Subban is a force. Gill and Gorges are both rocks. Spacek and Weber will fight it out for ice time if Diaz isn’t as ready as many scouts say.
    Habs D isn’t as bad or soft as many say.

    As for 9/11, the bloody terrorists won with all the garbage every person has to go through at an airport. All that crap at the border between Canada and the US- they treat Canadians as terrorists now while millions cross the Mexican-US border unchecked. Every time we look at an Arabic face and wonder, the terrorists have won. Sad, really.

  45. Habs_4_ever says:

    I can’t wait for it all to get started so we can all stop speculating about everyone and everything and actually see them all in action.

    Is Emelin at rookie camp tomorrow, or only at the main camp on friday?

    ————————
    “That’s the save of the year and it’s not even the year yet!”

  46. naweed235 says:

    I have a good feeling about Emelin ! I knOw a lot of people are not yet ready to assess him till they see him Play in the NHL but I think he’ll bring something to our back end that we’ve been missing since “wait for it …” Kommi , yes Komisarek left ! As much as we all hate him cuz he is now a leaf and his Play has declined to fit in just right with them, he was a very tough D to play against and cleared the frOnt of the net efficiently ! I think we’ll all be pleasantly surprised with this kid


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