Yemelin signs

The Canadiens have signed Russian defenceman Alexei Yemelin (his preferred spelling, per agent Don Meehan).

His cap hit will be $984,200. There are no performance bonuses.

It’s interesting that the contract is two-way, which means Yemelin may start the season in Hamilton. It had been speculated that one of his conditions for coming to North America would be a guarantee of playing with the NHL club.

It’s also interesting that Don Meehan also represents Andrei Markov, Andrei Kostitsyn  and Swiss defenceman Raphael Diaz, whom the Canadiens signed last week.

The Canadiens have four Dmen under contract for the 2011-’12 season: P.K. Subban, Jaro Spacek, Yemelin and Raphael Diaz.

The list of pending UFAs includes Markov, Hal Gill, Roman Hamrlik and James Wisniewski (also Brent Sopel and Paul Mara, but who cares?) Josh Gorges and Yannick Weber are RFAs unless signed by July 1.

The team announcement:

MONTREAL (May 17, 2011) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of defenseman Alexsey Emelin to a one-year, two-way contract (2011-12). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Alexsey Emelin. Alexsey is a steady, physical defenseman with strong skating ability. The experience he has acquired in the KHL over the past few years will make for a smooth transition to the NHL,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Emelin registered 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists), leading his team defensemen in goals, playing 52 games with the Kazan Ak Bars of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2010-11. Seven of his goals were scored on the powerplay. Emelin, 25, recorded 110 shots on goal, while averaging 21:18 seconds of ice time per game. He displayed a +17 plus/minus differential and served 92 penalty minutes.
In three complete seasons with the Kazan Ak Bars, the 6’2’’, 223 lbs defenseman totaled 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists) with 200 penalty minutes in 149 games, while maintaining a +22 plus/minus differential. Emelin totalled 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 38 career KHL playoff contests.
Emelin, who was part of the Russian team at the 2011 World Championship in Slovakia, was a member of the Russian team that captured silver at the 2010 World Championship in Cologne, Germany and participated in the 2007 World Championship in Moscow. He was on the Russian team that won the silver medal at the 2006 World Junior Championship in Vancouver.
A native of Togliatti, Russia, Emelin was the Canadiens’ second pick (third round, 84th overall) at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.


  1. Just to mention in the KHL the guy is treated kinda as a mix of Avery and Cook.

  2. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Everyone seems quite keen on dumping Spacek for less than the proverbial bag of pucks. While I agree that his play certainly took a turn for the worse by season’s end, I can’t help but think that he’s exactly the kind of veteran defenceman we’d have to go out and trade for when injuries invariably take their toll.

    (now if you wanted to try and trade Spacek and re-sign Sopel as a cheaper version….then I’m all aboard!)

  3. Maksimir says:

    Hope this kid works out and plays well in the NHL so we finally have someone who can knock Lucic & Horton on their ass.

  4. RetroMikey says:

    It’s about time the Habs GM signed Yemelin, it was a desperate move we needed to shore up our very weak D. If we can trade Spacek and sign Wiz and vets like Gill and Hamrlk to a decent contract and trade the fragile Weber away, our D looks very solid for years to come! And we just could trade a Gorges for any takers out there for a decent forward.
    What I want is a big skilled Cman upfront and get bigger as well and if it means to trade a Gionta, Cammallerri or Plekanec, so be it! Sorry but Gomez is here to stay thanks to Mr. Bob Gainey!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • jljudges54 says:

      Thought Weber played fantastic when he was needed. But I do agree we need a bigger team like a San Jose. But should still keep the agility of Plecknas, and Cami, just look at San Jose in the 3rd period of game one against Vancouver. And with Gomez there might be a solution to this coming in the way of a new bargaining agreement at the end of 2011-2012 season

      CH 1909

  5. habitual says:

    I agree that Hammer has likely played his last game, and that Spatch looked old during the playoffs.

    What I find objectionable is the tendency by some to slag their play last year. Spatch and Hammer were amongst our best +/- during the regular season. Spatch looked old during the playoffs, Hammer was … ok. Their +/- stats were at least the middle of the road.

    That stat doesn’t tell it all, I know. But Hammer played good hockey for us. Spatch … let us all hope his issues in the playoffs were as a result of his coming of an injury, because at 3 million +, he ain’t tradeable.

  6. light_n_tasty says:

    Don’t really care who this guy is as long as it means Markov will be back.

  7. slychard says:

    Duracell3 you make, how should I put this, uhhhhh, ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE (if I could cap caps the last part would be doublecapped) WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!! None. ‘When lucky play east and make playoffs’ What nonsense is that. what is that NONSCRAP ? Really. Selanne? I’d take 6,5 Henry out of Hamilton B4 him.

  8. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    There’s something that no one has brought up (at least, I think not). Even though everyone would likely prefer to keep Wiz, we all know it’s not likely to happen now. However, since Wiz is one of the top-2 UFA defensemen available,with Ehrhoff (although Vancouver may re-sign him), we may be able to trade his exclusive negotiating rights at the draft for another pick or something else. Maybe we get a 2nd round pick back.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Nashville got an RFA player and a conditional pick from the Flyers last year for the rights to Dan Hamhuis, then the Penguins gave up a 3rd rounder to take a crack at him, so there probably is some kind of market for an unsigned Wiz.

  9. slychard says:

    Oh yeah Yemelin

  10. slychard says:

    PG taking charge. Yes!!! The elimination still fresh in hab Fans memory, yet, the changes are being implemented with the urgency of a field general with nothing but imminent victory in his sights. There was no defeat, simply a set-back to the ultimate goal of victory. One almost shudders at the urgency of PG’s dedication. I certainly am most impressed. Should I be on his team I would push the bruins aside to face the bolts if he asked even after elimination. Why you ask??? To be a rebel? Sure. You were lucky bruins and we or any team could have swiped the goallyless flyers in 4 but now we have the potential, speed, skill and youth at defence to master most in the league. Yes. No doubdt. Trade old tired legs Spacek, keep Hammer, Gill, Markov, Gorges, Diaz, Subban, Webber… Wow. By the way has any other GM in the league made any significant moves as PG has since their team has been ousted? No. This makes me truly optimistic for next season. Yes. Is it September yet?

  11. shakey says:

    we should try to sign chad larose – we need quality, hard-nosed versatile third and fourth line depth wingers like that

  12. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Alright, here’s what I came up with:


    Mike Cammalleri ($6.000m) / Tomas Plekanec ($5.000m) / Brooks Laich ($4.000m)
    Max Pacioretty ($2.000m) / Scott Gomez ($7.357m) / Brian Gionta ($5.000m)
    Ville Leino ($3.500m) / Lars Eller ($1.270m) / Andrei Kostitsyn ($3.250m)
    Travis Moen ($1.500m) / David Desharnais ($0.750m) / Ryan White ($0.700m)
    / Mathieu Darche ($0.750m)

    Andrei Markov ($5.500m) / Josh Gorges ($3.000m)
    Hal Gill ($1.500m) / P.K. Subban ($0.875m)
    Alexei Yemelin ($0.984m) / Yannick Weber ($0.800m)
    Jaroslav Spacek ($3.833m) / Raphael Diaz ($0.900m)

    Carey Price ($2.750m) / Alex Auld ($0.850m)

    BUYOUTS: Georges Laraque ($0.500m)

    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $63,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,586,309; BONUSES: $400,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $829,491

    So, this is with 8 D, which I doubt is the number we start with. I feel a trade would happen should we manage to sign two forwards like Laich and Leino. ANyway, interesting to see the kind of flexibility these two latest D signings allows us to have.

  13. twocents says:

    Very nice.

    Gauthier getting the job done.

    Next up, Markov. By the end of the month, maybe the week.

  14. slapshot777 says:

    Anyone hear how Emelin made out with that ankle/knee injury?

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  15. Caper says:

    We’re all over Spatch here but he is really not that bad. Overpaid-yep, Just like alot of the FA’s that come to the Habs. The Habs have to overpay to get people to come to Montreal. Spatch has one year left and is useful to have as that 6th or 7th D-man (should someone play him out of a top 6). I don’t see the Wiz happening should markov be signed. Last thing I want to see if a $20 mill D corps. We’ve seen that act recently. Money is going to be spent on locking in our two young studs in the next year.

    • mike3131 says:

      I just think we can make MUCH better use of the $3.83 M. I wouldn’t pay a #6-7 D $3 M. I would take Spacek back at a lower price but unfortunately, things aren’t that easy.

      And I don’t think we will have to “overpay” the Wiz. He really likes it here, he enjoys the atmosphere of the Phone Booth and appreciates how much we support the CH

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      Spacek WAS a good Dman, now he’s done. I dont think PG can move him even if his life depended on it. Honestly, every time there was a goal that made our d look bad I guarantee he was on the ice. Spending 20 million on d is fine, just be sure it gets the job done. With guys like this it wont.

  16. Chris F says:

    Is Yemelin really that big? Watching the WC he looked stocky, but 6’2″, 220 lbs?? I don’t know, looked like 6′ 200lbs tops. Whatever, I’m sure we’ll find out when he gets here how big he is.

    Man, we need Spacek gone, it would be beyond amazing to trade in Spacek for Bieksa. Tough, smart, a winner. I love the Wiz too, but Bieksa is bigger.

    The easiest way to completely change our team:
    Have your third and fourth lines look like this–
    3rd line: White Eller Darche
    4th line: Ben Eager Zenon Konopka Travis Moen
    The first two lines remain the same with Patches and AK coming back to fill in the wings with Pleks, Gomez, Cammy, and Gionta.

    How do you think Mr. Ference would like to see that fourth line coming at him full tilt?? How many turnoves do you think they could create in the offensive zone?? And finally, how much safer do you think Pacioretty et al would feel having some real muscle in the line-up??
    When you play faster teams, insert DD and Pyatt if you have too.

    Case closed, I gaurantee this team wins.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      Our biggest problem last year was lack of scoring, not lack of fighters. I like the 4th line you have, but the top two lines combined with the 3rd line you have will not score enough to take the step to the next level.

      We need to find a way to have Ak46 on the 3rd line with Eller. I think adding Konopka OR Eager would be enough to address the 4th line. Preferably Konopka, since he can also kill penalties and win faceoffs at a high rate.

    • slapshot777 says:

      Ference would be to busy pulling his fingers out of his a$$.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  17. HardHabits says:

    Things looking good. Once the Habs rid themselves of the Gomez and Spacek contracts they should be in good shape to start rebuilding a contender. Until then it’s one more year of going through the motions. Another middle of the pack finish with an early play-off exit.

    Still need a #1 centre. Still need size and grit on the bottom 6 forwards to crash and bang. Still need some physically punishing forwards on the top lines.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs should never sign another player over 35 ever again.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      The 2011 Draft will give a window into what Habs management is thinking and whether or not they’re going in the right direction. I don’t like to grade a draft so early, but who they look to go after will give an idea of their planning.

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

      • Malreg says:

        Timmins draft philosophy has always been to draft the best player available, and not to draft based on needs.

        Last year could have been a change in that philosophy with trading up to pick Tinordi – or it could have just been that Tinordi was the BPA and happened to be a big stay at home defenseman.

        If they keep going with the BPA philosophy, then the draft won’t really give any insight into what their plan is.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          We’ll see, but it also gives an indication of how they evaluate talent because going BPA led to David Fisher in 2006, after trading down from a position that had them miss Chris Stewart. I just don’t want to hear “Montreal is proud to select Tyler Biggs”.

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

          • Bill J says:

            David Fischer was (at the time) a good pick. His development fell behind when he got mono.

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            Actually, from what I’ve read, Timmins has stated that 2006 was the one year they didn’t take the BPA, since they had such a need for young D. AT that spot, the BPA on his list was Claude Giroux. D’oh!

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            Bill J:

            How was Fischer a good pick? He was still in high school. I don’t see how you can draft such a risky player in the first round like that. He was the kind of player that you take either at the end of the first or in the second round. Middle of the first was too risky a spot to take him.

          • Bill J says:

            Jan, Fischer won the Mr. Hockey award. Like another former prospect of the Habs (McDonagh) he was doing very well, but the mono set his development so far back… He became a unlucky 1st round bust. It’s not bad drafting, when a major health setback affects the prospect.

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:


            The mono is no excuse. It’s been years since that happened now. He’s playing in the ECHL now. He doesn’t belong to an NHL team. Lars Eller had mono at the beginning of last year, and yet he still managed to put together a solid AHL season (he was an all-star) and also managed to play in a handful of NHL games. Now, it doesn’t look like mono has affected him much when we watch him play.

            Fischer just stinks. That’s all. They were projecting a high-school body to keep developing, and he didn’t. It was a risky pick in the middle of the first round. They tried to hit a home run, and he wasn’t even the best player available on their list. That was the Habs’ worst pick in a long time.

  18. habs001 says:

    the key for the habs next year will be for the d to help out in more forward production…it is unlikely we will add any significant new scoring talent for 2011-2012 so camm,gomez have to have much better seasons and maxpac has to produce while eller and dd improve their production….if we can also sign the wiz and markov and gorges come back to form we could have one of the top d in the nhl by february.

  19. mike3131 says:

    I have lots of confidence in AE 74. He sounds like the d-man we need… mobile, physical, big, and offensively capable. I’m also very glad that we kept him under $1 M (I saw us signing him for like $2M). I just hope he plays with discipline. In regards to the rest of our D for next year, I say sign Markov (of course) 1-3 yrs, $5M, Gorges long term, $4-5M, and Gill 1 yr, below $2M (if possible). I hope PG will do what he can to keep Wiz (for no more than $3.5-4M). Hopefully the pairings next year would look like this (not necessarily in order):

    Markov – Emelin
    Gorges – Subban
    Gill – Wisniewski

    Weber (/Diaz?/Mara?/Picard?)

    As for Spacek, I really hope we can let him go. I cringe whenever he’s out there. He pinches and doesn’t have the speed to come back (like he once did), wears down easily, can’t play physical… I hope we can trade him or send him to Europe or wtv. I would feel bad to buy him out/send him to Hamilton but if there’s no other way to let him go, I wouldn’t mind. He was good in his prime, but I think it’s time to move on with him.

    Same for Hamrlik. I liked him in his prime, but I do not think we should invest in keeping him.

    I am a first time poster but I’ve been reading/following every day for the past couple of years. Take it easy on me for now 🙂

    • LA Loyalist says:

      It’s good for you to get some practice posts in before something dramatic happens (like Gomez being signed to an extension) because this place lights up like a Camel after sex when something big hits 🙂

      Welcome. Be brave. Be insightful. Be a good spellr.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Holy crap…he’s not gonna start off on the first pairing with Markov.

      • mike3131 says:

        I did say “in no particular order”. Besides, I wouldn’t want Markov playing no. 1-2 d-man minutes anyway because he will need quite some time to get his endurance back. I think PK and Gorges should start off as our no. 1-2 (even though Gorges was injured, I’m more confident in him recovering faster) and play Markov and Emelin as our no. 3-4. As Markov gets back to true form, Emelin should make good progress alongside his fellow Russian.

        • _Habsoloutly_ says:

          I think when Markov starts the season he will have had plenty of rehabilitation time, and will be ready to assume his fist line D – Stud status. The question will be who the coaching staff decides to play with him. My thought is it will be Subban because of the way he has played. I also think if Gill and Gorges are signed (which I think they will be) they will return to being paired with each other. The rest of the pairings will be a toss up. I just do not see a kid being brought in brand spanking new to the NHL and thrown on the prestigous first pairing with a guy like Andre Markov, that is a spot that needs to be earned. Anyway, we will see what happens. Welcome aboard, we can resume our discussion when the season starts.

          • mike3131 says:

            I still think Markov should start on the 2nd pairing for the first couple games just to relieve the pressure on him. I’m not comfortable with a Subban-Markov pairing 5 on 5. Too much offense. It will be, however, a lethal PP pairing. I think PK should still be paired with a defensively responsible defenseman such as Gorges. He’ll be able to take more chances.
            I just like the idea of the two Russians who play different styles paired together. Markov with his offensive, visual, puck moving style will complement Yemelin’s steady, physical, skating style. Markov would also be the perfect mentor for Yemelin.
            But as you said, we’ll see when the season starts… can’t wait!!!

          • Bill J says:

            I think you are forgetting the language barrier Emelin will face. Pairing him with Markov provides not only the language, but also several other benefits.

            – Emelin, in many ways is a perfect fit with Markov, someone who will play physical defense, allowing Markov to start the offensive rush.

            – Markov, mentors Emelin (like Gill did with Subban this past season). Markov has already proven in the past to be a positive mentor.

            By pairing them this way, you spread out the youth with the older players. Subban with Gorges. Spacek with (Weber, Diaz, Gill, Wiz – basically one of those guys). That defense is quite balanced I would think.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Yemelin’s a first-time player in NA so he has to sign an Entry-Level deal, which meant under a million, although he’ll be eligible at least as an RFA next season and possibly up for a decent raise if he meets expectations.

      I don’t see Gorges getting better than 2.5-3 a season, partially due to the knee surgery and b/c of his limited offence.

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

    • GuyDoon says:

      Spacek is a guaranteed contract. If you send him to Hamilton, his CAP still counts. He’d have to retire or be traded. I not sure on the Buyout or Europe options:

      The CBA also contains a 35-and-over rule, sometimes referred to as the Mogilny rule[6]. This rule states that if a player signs a multi-year deal when the player is 35 or older, starting in the second year of the contract, that amount will count towards the team’s salary cap regardless of whether the player is on the active roster or not.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Excellent, Habs have their man on the back end to punish guys who enter our zone. Next up, Hal Gill, Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges to fill out the blue line, than with luck, PG does a magic trick and makes Spacek disappear. Markov, Yemelin, Subban, Gill, Weber, Yemelin for Top-6 in 11-12.

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

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      Dont bet your money on Gill yet.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        The players wants him back, even the guys who didn’t play for 4 months like Gorges. He’s a huge leader in the room and has been incredibly effective as a mentor to PK, he helps keep the Habs as a top-ranked PK team and he’s got a playoff gear. If he’s reasonable on his next contract I’m sure it will happen.

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

        • RobertAlanFord says:

          Minus 9 and skates like he has a broken back. Dont get me wrong, I think he’s a brilliant d man but with the options they have…………..

        • Jonson says:

          who cares about that stuff. they would survive without gill. make him a coach then. he may help them laugh but he play on the ice is not so good. apart from the 5 on 3’s i dont think he is good enough to play next season. he was brutal against boston i just dont see the point. also WEBER belongs in the top six no doubt about it.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Hamrlik and Spacek were brutal against BOS. Gill played shutdown pretty effectively IMO as he did last season.

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

          • Jonson says:

            maybe we were not watching the same games. cause Gill was the worst dman against boston.

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            I disagree. Spacek and Sopel were by FAR the worst D against Boston. Hal Gill is an elite penalty killer and the influence he had on P.K.’s game cannot be underestimated. He will be back.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        I suppose nothing is set in stone, but when Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban and other key players have already gone to PG to let him know how key Gill is to this hockey team right now, I don’t see him not being signed.

  21. JasonM says:

    Gonna put out there. For every post that states we will sign Jagr, I want to hold the posters of that rubbish to be held responsible for suffacating this website with Mat Sundin-like crap. Thus I propose a solution, for every person who posts the Habs will sign Jagr, or willcount on him in their fairy tale lines I want it to be written down they owe JasonM 20$ when he’ll sign somewhere else, somewhere meaning Pittsburg.

    If he signs with Montreal, I promise to pay these people $20 each. That’s how godd4amed adament I am on how much people pass off as schmucks when they posts comments like this.

    Good day. 🙂

    • Bugs says:

      Sundin, end of 08 or training camp 09 sounded real good. You’re basing yourself on his half-azzed, half year with the Nucks to not only cast aspersions on those who didn’t want Mats in THOSE circumstances but also on those who would consider adding JAGR to the team (as if there was somehow a parallel between these players showing that the characteristics of one apply to the other), and I think that’s incredibly disingenuous of you all across the board.
      So keep your money, save enough of it what’ll allow you to BUY the team, and then MAKE SURE Jagr doesn’t sign. How’s that sound?
      Til then, if you’re to have the same rights here, let those you only PERCEIVE as “shmucks” give their dang opinions without moaning from your throne, whaddaya say?

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      Oy…good stuff, but I can’t stand Marinaro.

      “That was my Let’s Go Yankees chant for you Max. We share the same ball club, by the way. If you ever want tickets, I was really close with Russell Martin. I’m sure you could get them yourself, but if you want any help, just give me a call.”


    • scrowe21 says:

      Awesome! Thanks.

  22. RobertAlanFord says:

    @Propwash – He totally will be, maybe even by next season we’ll start seeing a huge difference. Last year I would have sent him down and kept White up. White was brilliant in the pre season. Get another grinder with him and Moen and there you go. Eller could have been a top scorer in the AHL.

  23. rogieshan says:

    Yemelin is much further along than Pavel Valentenko was. If nothing else, the twin signing of him and Diaz gives Gauthier some leverage in dealing with his own FAs and potential trading partners. Retaining Markov, Gorges and Gill will now allow for three veterans to pair and nurture the youngsters. Buying Spacek out or loaning him to a club team in Europe would appear to be the best option.

    Gauthier can also now put more focus on shoring up the offense.

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I completely forgot about loaning players. Isn’t that what happened with Huet and Chicago? How does that affect your cap though. Is the hit just gone or is a percentage carried over?

      • rogieshan says:

        Huet’s cap hit magically disappeared, just like a move to the minors would. Only, with a European arrangement, an NHL club could recoup some cash or future considerations in return. Of course, Spacek could have veto/no movement rights that we’re not aware of.

      • SnowManHabs85 says:

        the cap is gone is probably require by the league to approve it and the team basically pays his full salary still even playing in Europe.

        “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

    • 24 Cups says:

      rogie – Sorry, but +35 contracts can’t disappear. No buyout, loans, demotions or retirements. A trade is the only option and I doubt anyone is going to bite. Maybe at the deadline.

  24. habs365 says:

    too bad we couldn’t have kept S-kostitsyn and Grabovaski along with Darche,Halpern,Pouliot,and Desharnais we’d be still playing. it’s just another if.
    anyway PG seems to be doing ok, but he has to start looking at the offence end of it, that’s where we are weak. the D was ok as it were but it doesn’t hurt to improve and I think he’s done a good job if the pickups make the team.
    a couple of good forwards we should be good for a run at a playoff spot 2012…..

    • Propwash says:

      SK and Grabs were dead weight, there was a reason why they are gone, same as Higgins and Lappy.

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        Which is the same reason why PG will probably do his best to get Spacek outta here. Thats A LOT of dead weight.

      • habs365 says:

        it’s quite obvious why they are gone—I didn’t say we should have kept them—I said it’s too bad we couldn’t have kept them—they put up more points than any forward we brought in and even Higgins was better than some of them—even lappy was better than moen,white,and pyatt—anyway I really don’t care—nothing us fans can do about it—the people who cut the checks will have the final say…..

  25. RobertAlanFord says:

    JM wont give him alot of ice time right off the bat. He’ll have to prove himself just like everyone else. Dunno how Eller got around that one but thats usually the case with Mr. Martin.

    • punkster says:

      Ya, that’s how Subban was treated. And Eller. No ice time. None. Nil.

      Yep that’s just how JM will treat him. Just like Subban. And Eller. And they stink, right?

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        Eller should have been in Hamilton ALL year. He’s not strong enough yet. Needs more upper body strength.

        • 24moreCups says:

          I agree a season in Hamilton would of done good for Eller, plus he would of got some play off experience with the Dog’s.

          • RobertAlanFord says:

            Bringing players up too soon can hurt their confidence and overall development. Then again Price is turning out nicely. Bet he wishes that he didn’t have to put up with all the crap thrown at him the past two years that could’ve been avoided if he was left in the minors for a bit though.

        • olematelot says:

          Yah, that’s why Eller wins most of his board battles, cause he has no strength

          • RobertAlanFord says:

            He has amazing reflexes and hand-eye coordination though. He always manages to pick the puck out of fumbles and tie ups on the fly and make a little something happen. He’s gonna be good, just not yet.

        • Propwash says:

          Who would you replace Eller with on the roster?

          • RobertAlanFord says:

            Thats where I think PG has to focus his dollars on come July first. Forget this Jagr crap. Laich, Gordon, Cole…. Dupuis even. Theres a few guys on the UFA list who would be quite valuable on the third and fourth lines.

          • Propwash says:

            @ Robert, I meant the past season. There wasn’t too many guys available at the time, and to be honest, Eller was one of the hardest working kids on the ice, yes, he made mistakes, but it is plainly obvious he could very well turn out to be a force to be reckoned with.

      • Talik Sanis says:

        Yemelin probably will get the Subban treatment, much to the long-term benefit of both players. Subban did receive a good deal of ice time early on, though this fluctuated as he was shuffled around from being on the first pairing with Hamrlik to the third with Picard, based on JM’s perspective of PK’s performance and commitment to the system. Included in the “Subban Treatment” was the fact that he sat out some games; he was forced to rein in his offensive flair in favor of solid, positionally-sound, defensive play, or miss some games because of it. He couldn’t play like he did with the Dogs or the Bulls and has become a better two-way player because of it (and Gill). Yemelin will need a similar period of adjustment in the NHL. I think that he’s in for a difficult first half of the season where he adapts to NA ice and goes too far on occasion, hurting the team by being overly aggressive. JM will likely place him of the third pairing, limit his ice time and bench him occasionally, just as he did with PK when Subban’s exuberance hurt the team. If Yemelin has an ego that can withstand such treatment and he can learn from his experiences, I believe that he’ll grow better because of the short leash that JM places on younger players.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Absolutely Eller should have played in Hamilton all year, it would have been best for him AND for the team.

        We just didn’t have the BALLS to say we’ve traded our playoff hero for a guy who’s going to play in Hamilton, but in the long run, it will be for the best. And that’s why we are where we are, out of the playoffs, because Manglement had NO BALLS.

        • Duracell3 says:

          ^This. many decisions come down to this. To miss the playoffs is near suicide for a GM or coach in this city, winning short term is the goal, especially when you have things happen that make you think you’re a team ready to make a serious run, when you’re really just lucky you play in the East and can make the playoffs.

  26. christophor says:

    Cammi – Plek – AK or (Free Agent: Jagr, Laich …)
    Patches – Gomer – Gio
    Poulio – Eller – AK or (Free Agent: Jagr, Laich …)
    White – Desh – Darche


    Markov – Gorges
    Gill – Subban
    Spacek – Emelin


    • newbrunswick troy says:

      I felt i must comment about Guy Boucher, now given all the talk about Emelin,and maybe signing Jagr or bla bla bla …we will then make it to the promise land!!! Not quite , we have a good coach in Martin and he does a bang up job on defence fist systems,but so does every coach in the nhl now ..the word is out and all are singing from the same pue “defence wins” however myself knowing a little bit about coaching and general hockey systems, i can,t help but just love the job that Guy Boucher is doing..i really do believe the lightning are where they are this year souly beacuase of him!!! Stevie Y knew something too when he went out and gave a coach who had no nhl experience, hell he only had a year or so in the ahl and still look at him go…he utillises a system that goes from 1-3-1 back to 4 with one deep to d-man pintching in when they should be protecting a 1goal lead!!! wow i,m surprised the guy (ha no punn inteneded) doesn,t have Rollison doing break out plays with wingers! oh and its neat he refuses to call his forwards centers or wingers…everybodys assigned a number and the play to their own assets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      If the lightning go further than the Bruins and they will…Boucher should win coach of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      And to think he should be behind our bench?????

  27. Kooch7800 says:

    Good sigining. Hopefully he pans out….if not at least we will have answered the question. We need physical D men and he hopefully can help us there.

    Everyone says he can hit but i haven’t seen to many highlights of him actually being physical

  28. pat s says:

    montreal should move their team and go play in russia or europe–this is bs, all these mickey mouse signings–please i don’t want hear how mean he is b/c in the NHL somebody will knock his block off if he starts playing tough guy—

    • Marcusman says:

      You’re right, those big meanies……some 6″3″ 240 lbs 25 year old kid could never stand up for himself. YA WE’ll move the TEAM…to your MAMA”s House. Watch and learn the Habs greatly improved themselves on the ice and with the cap.

      • pat s says:


        i can see your point, he is a fairly big guy but playing overseas is different than NHL—please give me a break

        and by the way how much do the habs pay you b/ i think that would be the only reason you would get personal–i know, the habs pay you big bucks

    • punkster says:


      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabsFan2 says:

      Yeah, Europeans are wimps…

      I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

      • pat s says:

        HabFan2—not really, chara/datsuk–i would not call them wimps,actually, chara is the toughest guy in the league, but that tampa player did very well in that one so why would you say Europeans are wimps.

        But if want to show videos maybe you should show this one, when the habs knew how to rule the ice. Nice vieo however that you showed. I never saw chara lose that many.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      Well, first off, it’s not as if we can sign impact free agents right now (not that I believe that PG will do that anyways). Second, bringing in Diaz is an intelligent move, especially considering the interest that was expressed by the Stars, Lighting and others, as was the signing of Berger. They are, at worst, individuals who will help the farm team and are potential depth NHLers. Careful acquisition of potential long-term assets at no cost is only something that can help the orginization.

      As for Yemelin, I fail to see how a move that finally brings in one of our highly anticipated prospects, who fills the organizational need for a young, physical defensive defenseman (coming off a career season) can be called “Mickey Mouse.” Whether Yemelin pans out or not, PG has succeeded in making a move that others have failed to, potentially bettering the team while sacrificing nothing. Further, it is irrational to presume that he’ll be fodder for an NHL tough-guy if he attempts to impose his will. No one has seen him in the league before, and presumptions of his being either a pushover or a dominating presence are both mostly unfounded. Only when he’s seen on the ice in the CH will we really know what he’s capable of.

      • pat s says:

        Whats iirrational are these posts that make it sound that Gauthier should be GM of the year with these signings. Actually, if Yemelin can play physical, and play with heart, I’ll be the 1st one to say I’m glad we got him but some of these posts make it sound he is the next best thing for our team.

        If you think he is the answer to our lack of grit and size on our team get ready for another early exit next year at best. However, I will be open to giving him a chance so lets see how he does at trainning camp

    • olematelot says:

      what a useless post pat s, waste of space

  29. Timo says:

    I don’t know… i saw nothing on that clip that can’t be compiled about 50% of NHL dmen. But whatevs… we’ll have to wait and see I guess.

  30. Shiloh says:

    Nice signing – he could be a difference maker.

  31. NightRyder says:

    Can we confirm two things: The actual spelling of his name, and how long until Martin deploys him as a fourth-line left winger?

  32. gerrybell says:

    everyone is so fast to cut Hammar from this team. I would prefer to have hammar with a one deal for under a million than this unproven guy. i think i would even choose gill for that deal as well. who needs wiz – the guy could shoot a bit but was hopeless on D and a total liability in our own end.

    subban – gill
    markov – georges
    spacek – hammar


    the habs better sign 7-8 D men for when markov goes down with yet another lower body injury.


    ps. if i have learned one thing from watching this team for the last 25 years it that whatever we think will happen wont.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      Haven’t you have enough of watching 3 d-men over 35 gasping and weezing their way through the season?

      Nothing against Hamrlik, but it is time to get younger, and more importantly, more mobile on defense. PG’s latest two moves are big steps in the right direction.

    • fofe84 says:

      Hamrlik for under a million?! Yeah, that would be nice, but there’s no way he’ll sign with anyone for that price.

  33. mrhabby says:

    this is sink or swim for Emelin and thats all good. at his age its either here or he goes back to the mother country . who wants to go to hamilton, i sure would not.

    next on PG list is signing some of free agents we all know who they are..gill, josh, markov.

    explore some trades with other teams for some of our malcontents…hello bp and ak.

    • shiram says:

      I’m guessing AK will get a qualifying offer, which is what he is already making, and at that salary, there’s not much more you can expect from a player. Plus we lack in scoring, and AK is known to putt in at least 20 per season, he would make a great 3rd line winger, if we were not so short on scoring players.

      BP is another issue, and I would doubt the team offers him another contract.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        Once the defense picture is cleared up, PG has to find a legitimate way to make AK46 a 3rd line winger.

        If we have a good player replacing Ak46 on Pleks’ line, we will have 3 solid lines. Ak46 with Eller against worse opposing defenders all year would be fun to watch.

        • JayBee says:

          I don’t feel too good about playing a non-specialist 3rd liner close to $3.5M

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            I’ve addressed this point in the past. If you look at Philly, at times you could say that Briere is on the 3rd line. He makes 6.5 million on the cap. Bottom line it doesn’t matter which line he’s on. What matters is the role he plays on your team. If our “3rd line” is more of a scoring line and he is getting some PP time as well, then there’s nothing wrong with his cap hit. If, however, he is playing under 10 minutes and is playing with plugs, then yes, too big of a cap hit. The goal should be to have three scoring lines, regardless of the cap hits. As long as it all works out under the cap, what does it matter?

      • mrhabby says:

        yes.. your right. i got ahead of myself there.
        its likely AK gets qualified and for what he makes its about right.
        we would be giving up on another player who still has lots of skill… just want him to be more consistent.
        as for bp if no contract..does that open the door for jagr who despite his age etc, etc is an upgrade over ak and BP.

        • shiram says:

          Sorry double post.

        • shiram says:

          The Jagr rumours are nice and entertaining, but untill his name is on a nhl contract, they are only rumours to me. The guy can make some great coin in the KHL, and the reasons for him to come back to NHL don’t seem to hold much ground.

          Weirder things have happened, but I would not count on Jagr being the Habs saviour.

    • Shiloh says:

      I’m curious as to why you would refer to AK as a “malcontent”. I thought he had a good season and fit nicely with Eller especially. He dealt out some nice hits as well.

      • Because people have an irrational hate for AK. It’s ridiculous.

        • NightRyder says:

          Yup. If he was a second-round pick, the level of loathing would be tempered substantially. I like him less because he’s not Carter, Richards, Perry, Parise or Kesler. That may be just my own irrationality at play though.

          • It was a bad pick by the Canadiens, then again 7 of the top 12 picks in that draft could be deemed busts in comparison to the players you just listed.

            Getting rid of Kostitsyn would be a huge mistake.

          • NightRyder says:

            I never said I hated him or called him a bust, I just said I liked him less because he’s not one of the other guys.

            I liked Doug Wickenheiser (RIP) less because he wasn’t Denis Savard.

            I don’t think we should non-tender Kostitsyn or give him away for nothing, but to me, this would be his last year to prove himself in Montreal. If he churns out another 40-45-point year, it’s time to cut bait.

        • punkster says:

          I was one of those people but I am a converted AK-ist.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  34. JohnBellyful says:

    Looks promising. Like how he moves up inside the offensive zone. Would have liked to have seen more clips of his physical play, as that’s what has Hab fans excited.
    This was a breakout season for him: 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). His total for three complete seasons 37 points (12 goals and 25 assists). Maybe the goaltending got worse because some of the netminders looked weak.
    I hope his transition to the North American game is quick and relatively smooth.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      things happen faster on the small ice for a D, but the guy can skate. He’s not a kid, we’ll be fine. This is exactly the kind of below the radar guy we need to steal because we have no depth and no draft pix and we’ve already cannibalized Hamilton to a large degree. We need to buy time until Leblanc, Tinordi et cie are ready and Gomez and JM are just a bad memory.

  35. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    One thing’s for sure, PG is a man of action. And actions do speak louder than words.

    Since he’s taken over from Bob Gainey, PG has done quite a bit:

    -He had the balls to trade Halak and have faith in Carey Price. While some people debate the return on the Halak trade, it seems like PG has at least acquired a promising skilled centre with some size and balls in Lars Eller, who will remain cheap on the cap for at least a couple more years. If Ian Schultz plays with the Habs, even better.

    -He acquired Dominic Moore, Wiz, Mara and Sopel before the deadline to either add depth or replace key injured players without totally mortgaging the farm. These moves all helped the Habs reach the playoffs and be more effective as a team once they got there.

    -He traded up in the draft to pick a hulking defenseman who could turn out to be a great replacement for Gill when he is no longer with the Habs. Tinordi drops the mitts, skates well for a big man and could develop into a nice shutdown d-partner for P.K.

    -He has signed promising undrafted players that fill organizational needs in Berger and Diaz. Low-risk, high potential reward moves.

    -He has gotten one of our most prized defensive prospects in Emelin to finally sign on the dotted line and come over to North America.

    I’m not saying Gauthier is perfect, but I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised by the work he has done since taking over. We didn’t know much about him, but he is making some pretty smart moves. Lots more to do this summer though. I expect Markov’s signing to be finalized shortly. Once that is done, it’s on the draft and then maybe finding a way to clear some cap space to sign Wiz, or if that’s not possible, move onto upgrading our forward depth.

    • Gauthier definitely seems a bit more proactive than Gainey, maybe that’s just my perception, but I’ve like almost all of his moves so far, the lone bad move being the SK74 trade that he was basically forced into.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        Yeah, SK74 was a trade that had to be done, but that you knew we were going to get screwed in. His hand were pretty much tied on that one.

        Who knows, maybe Boyd learned something in Hamilton and ends up being a contributor. I don’t see it though. If he could at least be flipped into another asset, that would be okay.

        And Gauthier is definitely proactive. He hates to wait until the deadline to make trades. He has already upgraded our defensive skill while getting younger and it’s only May 17.

        Good stuff.

        • You’re right on all points there. I think everyone knew the SK74 deal, whatever it would be, we wouldn’t win it. That said Boyd was a solid contributor for Hamilton so there was a mild benefit to acquiring him.

          And seeing it written out, May 17 is damn early. I guess that’s the benefit of a disappointing playoffs, more time to tweak the roster.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        SK we had no choice. I don’t blame Gauthier.

        However letting Moore walk was a mistake, his only major one.

        I’m quite happy with his moves on D so far. We all know what needs to be done up front, the question is what CAN be done.

        The one issue though we haven’t kicked around (though the summer is long) is upgrading our back-up goalie. We are a groin pull away from disaster in that department and we had better address it.

        • While I would like to still have Moore on the team, letting him walk wasn’t a mistake so much as it was inevitable. Montreal acquired Lars Eller who took up Moore’s cap space. For the future that was a much better decision. Not to mention Halpern came in at half the price to play the same role and did fine.

          I doubt you’ll see a major upgrade in the backup goalie, in fact I’d be surprised if Montreal doesn’t sign someone to the league minimum. Sanford might get the call from Hamilton, or maybe Drew Macintyre might get an NHL shot.

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          Moore was a cap casualty. that’s it. Sure, I would have loved to keep him, but PG was betting on Pouliot bringing more offensively. unfortunately, it didn’t happen. We probably would have been better off with Moore and not Pouliot, but hindsight is 20/20.

          In the end, it’s not like Halpern didn’t do a good job. Who knows, if he gets to take that faceoff in OT against Boston, maybe we’re still playing.

    • Marcusman says:

      Here here!

    • NightRyder says:

      If he can rid us of Gomez, “pleasant surprise” will turn into “you da man” pretty quickly.

  36. BiscuitTriscuit says:

    The 2 way contract is not an indication that Emelin is willing to go to hamilton. He had to be Signed to a 1 year 2 way deal because its an ELC. MAG said there was going to be a clause that if hes sent down he can and probably will go back to Russia. So its going to be sink or swim with him. I have no doubt that he should be in the top 6 to start the year.

  37. jimmy shaker says:

    Not very nice booner with the “Who cares” jab at Mara and Sopel. Even though we all knew they weren’t coming back, they did a very decent job stepping in and helping out on the D this year. I think the proper piece to write would be thank you and good luck in the future!


    • Marcusman says:

      I agree I think Mara showed the toughness that has been missing for some time. Brent got hurt before the playoffs and wasn’t %100. I think that’s were JM dropped the ball. Even though it was do or die..we had too many Dmen playing hurt or with little left in the tank. I truly believe that if Weber and Mara play game 7 with Hamerlik and the Wiz sitting we’d be talking about the fact that Gomez hasn’t score in 45 games and Cammalleri leads the playoff scoring.

      If we figured out how to sign Markov and Wiz, we simply have the best dfence in the conference.

      Markov -Emelin
      Subban -Gill
      Wiz- Georges
      Spacek and Diaz

      Move Webber to forward with little David and Benny.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        I think that D would be great but isn’t really possible unless we do not upgrade at forward at all.

        If Spacek were traded or waived or SOMETHING, maybe we could keep Wiz. I just think Wiz will cost too much and PG needs to upgrade the forward group.

        If Diaz were to make the big club, I would like to see Webber at forward so that we could have EASILY the best PP point depth in the conference.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Aside from goalie, I think the most important position in the current game is on the points for the PP. We absolutely need depth there given our lousy 5 on 5 attack.

          Price and Killer special teams will take us a long way until Gomez retires to his condo in New York.

    • Ron says:

      Right on with the decent job they were asked to do. I am one who cares. They came here to fill voids left through injury and I for one cared that when playing they gave the best they could and didn’t bail out. Sopel played with a injured hand and Mara ( not alot of ice time ) stood his ground and came too the aid of teamates. Not a good jab at their efforts from a blogger I respect and follow.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Yes. Agreed. Thank you to Mara and Sopel, we do wish them well and are grateful. That comment was out of line.

        And anyone who blocks shots deserves props. I am nervous doing it in my old-timer’s league and I was a freaking goalie in my ute, so it take cojones.

    • Shiloh says:

      I agree. They both gave what they had at a pretty decent price. Sopel was particularly good on the penalty kill – a true shot-blocker.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Depending on how it all shakes out, I wouldn’t even mind if Mara was our 7th d man all year. While i would prefer a bigger heavier rugged dman, at least he is willing to play that role. I think Mara should definitely have been in lineup game 7.

      Overall glad our dcorps is getting younger.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Mara was a nice addition with the toughness. Sopel I thought was brutal.

  38. jimmy shaker says:

    The fourth period is reporting as of a couple days ago, that the wiz is still a priority for the habs and the habs are a priority for the wiz. I thought if they went after the wiz and with marky, gorges and gill all signing again and now with emelin on board, I’m not sure where the money is going to come from. If the wiz does stay, that would be a lot of money tied up on the back end. Basically taking the habs out of any potential ufa signings, unless a trade will occur in the summer. I like the signing, but this ultimately puts the end of MAB making a comeback with the habs.


    • shiram says:

      Pfft MAB is soft and tiny.

    • shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

      Christian Ehrhoff is the guy I would like to see the Habs sign if the Wiz wants the world…Ehrhoff is much more dependable…wouldn’t mind seein’ Tanner Glass take Pyatts spot either,Raffi Torres would also look good in bleu, blanc, et rouge….so many possibities, hope the Ghost is on the ball. this off season…then there’s Markov, like to see him back too, hard decisions ahead.

  39. habsindepth says:

    WOOHOO Yemelin signed 🙂

    (news on HiD — nothing much new from the official announcement.. )

    Web: – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth

  40. HabFarmer says:

    He may provide something of the “Dave Manson Effect”. You know the grenade that might explode any minute. I remember it being pretty effective when Ol’ Dave was with the Jets – you just never knew when he was going to go off. Entertaining for sure, and kinda scary for the opposition……… .

    “No, I see. The monkey’s out of the bottle now!”

  41. Marcusman says:

    Great news….Markov signing can’t be too far off. Now just sign Jagr and we’re easily through to the next round.

    Well done Pierre!

    • habsindepth says:

      Indeed.. get Marky, get Jagr… and we will make it to the second round past the classless Bruins …. 🙂

      We so needed a real young tough defender on our blue-line. Yemelin will fill that void!! Awesome signing.

      Web: – For the Fanatics
      Twitter: @habsindepth

  42. 24moreCups says:

    About time! haha I was hoping PG would get it done this summer, hopefully he can make a good transition to North American hockey.

  43. Favorite Son says:

    Cool. Now let’s get rid of Spacek so we can have this:


  44. Bill says:

    I think everyone has to like this.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  45. Keith says:

    Great news! But I didn’t think the Habs would be able to ink him to a two-way contract. Well done P.G.!

  46. Habitoban says:

    Two-way contract, so I guess we won’t be seeing him with the big club until he’s good and ready. Well done.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      He had to sign a two-way contract, I believe. There was no other option. If he doesn’t make the team out of training camp, I’m certain he’ll head back to Russia. At his age and based on his obvious unwillingness to play in the AHL, this is best for both sides. If he’s not ready to play in the NHL now (not counting a natural period of adjustment) he probably never will be.

  47. nek25plus says:

    Hope he is able to make a quick transition into the NHL…

  48. RiverviewCanadien says:


  49. MICP says:

    I love this signing.
    Will this mean the end of the Wiz era?

    • LL says:

      I hope Wiz stays. Maybe the Spacek era can be over instead?
      (Yeah, I know…he has to be traded…sigh)

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      only way we can keep Wiz, is if PG can find someone to take Spacek’s salary off our hands… which is pretty much guaranteed not to happen.

      unfortunately, cap restrictions, not Yemelin, will prevent us from keeping the Wiz.

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