Reeling in Yemelin?


Marc de Foy of the Journal de Montréal reports the Canadiens will sign Russian defenceman Alexei Yemelin to a one-year contract.
De Foy says the deal will be sealed during Pierre Gauthier’s visit to the World Hockey Championships in Bratislava. The Canadiens general manager left Montreal for Slovakia on Tuesday. Canada plays Russia on Thursday.

De Foy reports the one-year deal will stipulate that Yemelin, 25, can return to Russia rather than accept demotion to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Yemelin was the Canadiens’ second pick (third round, 84th overall) in the 2004 draft. The team’s first-round choice was Kyle Chipchura. Later rounds yielded Mikhail Grabovski, Gregory Stewart and Mark Streit.

Hockey’s Future describes Yemelin as “an aggressively physical stay at home defenseman, with a strong shot from the point and above average skating. Will need to bulk some to fill out his frame, improve his offensive production, and cut down on penalties.  Hits and annoys the opposition.” lists Yemelin (whom they call “Emelin”) as 6’1″, 191 lbs. He is from Togliatti, Alex Kovalev’s hometown, a city of 700,000 in southwestern Russia.


It has a certain ring to it.


  1. Bugs says:

    Watched the third period of Czechs vs Yanks and I’m wonderin: are the Czs really THAT good or did the Yanks have no one on the club? Conklin, Stuart as cap…what gives?
    Where can I check out their rosters?

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

  2. HalifaxHabs says:

    seriously c12…. look at your last 3 posts, dominating the top of the page, and bringing absolutely nothing to the discussion. Clearly just trying to start sh1t. You are the worst kind of poster on this site.

    hey mods, when are you going to ban this clown?

  3. cournoyer12 says:

    Habs are building from the third and fourth lines, third and fourth lines, third and fourth lines, out…Lafleau was right, we do have…Four..Fourth lines…

  4. cournoyer12 says:

    Jagr’s so ‘Over the Hill’ he is now in the Valley…How desperate we’ve become!! Let’s sign Kjeil Dahlin, he’s alive, isn’t he!!

    • ManApart says:

      Who cares if he’s 39. If he can play, he can play. A few years ago we picked up a 38 year old Robert Lang. He was a little slow, but overall with his smarts and experience, turned out to be our best player until he was injured. Now Lang is no Jagr. Look at Selanne, look at Recchi, Lidstrom. Great players can still be good players in their later years. If we can find a better option, good. If not, you take him for 2 mil and run.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        you’re completely wasting your time with this guy ManApart… he offers no real facts, and won’t respond directly to any counter point you make.

        at least if you and I disagree, we can have a real debate over actual facts.

        • ManApart says:

          My response is more for the commentariat, rather than for him. For the more reasonable folks who don’t think Jagr is a good idea because of his age.

          • Bill J says:

            I must say.

            I’m not sure if my sabbatical from the site has improved my opinion of you.


            You’re having a spectacular day, and are simply in a good mood.


            cournoyer12 is simply the worst Troll this site has seen. And it makes you look like gold.

            Regardless, I have enjoyed ALL of your posts today. 🙂

          • I feel the same way, Bill. James has been good to converse with today. And I’m pretty sure Cournoyer12 is Tony.

      • Exactly. Jagr isn’t some run of the mill player who’s aged and isn’t worth it anymore, he’s a generational talent. Probably the best European forward of all time. If he’s willing to take a reasonable contract it would be nuts not to sign him.

    • olematelot says:

      You obviously haven’t watched him at the Worlds. He and Pleks have some serious chemistry

    • nek25plus says:

      Amen…and I’m not religious!

  5. cournoyer12 says:

    Someone stated that Andrei Kostitsyn is a ‘Power foward”..Yeah, And I’m a Victoria’s Secrets model….Love one thing about Montreal Canadiens fans, They definately have total recall of all things delusional.

  6. Komihater says:

    Great news! but this get’s me no where near excited as the Jagr rumors. A guy can wish , right?

    • pat s says:

      this only thing i wish is that this rumour isnot true. Jagr,holy man, this is crazy, we are going bad to worse–what a joke—

      i guess molson will be paying gomez and jagr as they play in hamilton—i wonder if the habs can also sign mario lemieux

    • 24 Cups says:

      I think Pittsburgh might have something to say about Jagr before we do. Jagr could really light it up if he gets to play with Crosby or Malkin, not to mention the PP points.

  7. Habitoba says:

    I say trade Markov now and sign Wiz. We’ve basically played without him for 2 years and we could get a very decent return now. In theory, he could never play like he used to and once other teams realize this, the demand/asking price for him would go down substantially.

    On the other hand, he could tutor Yemelin on his first year here… tricky situation.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Markov is a pending UFA, his negotiating rights and his twice-injured knee would lead to little return value and Yemelin isn’t coming here likely unless Markov is back around, to help with the transition for him.

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

      • NoTinFoilCups says:

        Sign him and then trade him. He’ll bring a lot more in return. We’re flush on D. Up front is where we need some more depth/size.

    • scrowe21 says:

      Cant trade Markov.. He is a UFA. He either signs here or signs with another team.

    • DearyLeary says:

      How do we trade a UFA?

      • Mark C says:

        His rights could be traded. Montreal traded for Dan Ellis’ rights in the SK74 deal last year.

        • shiram says:

          Habs have his right untill the first of july, at which point any team can try to make a deal with Markov. What team would want to trade for that?

          • Mark C says:

            Well, Montreal wouldn’t get much, if anything at all, and I want Markov back. However, it is within CBA rules to trade the rights to a UFA from the end of the playoffs to July 1. Any team that wants to sign him, and it helps to jump the gun on other teams.

    • habs03 says:

      With all due respect, I can’t help but get really really annoyed by the “he’ll never play like he used” comment, everyone talks about how Markov is now made of glass etc and shouldn’t get a contact, but how come no mention of how Wiz has had 3 ACL injuies all to the same knees just a few years ago?!?! Know I love Wiz, and want us to get him last offseason, but Markov>>Wiz!

  8. 44har48 says:

    Finally…I’ve watched this guy play quite a bit in the KHL, trust me, he will have to tone his toughness back in the NHL to stay out of the box, you don’t need to worry about him being tough enough. And I also gaurantee that the area in front of Price will be kept squeaky clean with this guy in front. This guy won’t bring flashy numbers I know you all liked with Wiz, but he brings something much more important when you already have Suban, Markov, and Weber.

    One piece down and two to go for me. I want Avtsin and Enqvist to pick it up and get up here soon. Big forwards that can play and are learning our culture and NA game. I’m higher on those two than Leblanc and Kristo who are playing pee wees. Would it ever be nice to have more than one or two of these prospects pan out. Add them to Eller, Desharnais, and Max and we are starting to cook with gas.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Avistin didn’t have a great year in the AHL. 20 points in almost 60 games is not very impressive.It is his first year in the north American game so he is probably adjusting. He has the skill set so next year will be a good measuring stick.

      Enqvist is a decent 3rd or 4th centre. great defensively.

      Schultz is starting to come into form in the playoffs and is looking Dangerous. I would love to see him get better and be on the 3rd or 4th line next year.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        He’s also just 19, few guys his age have any kind of impact at the AHL level especially since he just hopped over from Europe.

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

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Next year I think will be the real test to see as he has had a season to adjust but he is still young. I hope he does pan out as he has great shiftyness with the puck.

          I think Schultz can make it in a couple seasons as well. he is big, moble and has hands. Problem is this season he thought fighting was his main focus which is not what we need. We need a physical forward who has some offensive upside.

          The name everyone is forgetting is palushaj. That guy has been looking solid. 12 points in 12 games in the playoffs this year as well.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            I think Palushaj needs another year to get stronger physically and take another run at being a dominant AHL player before coming up, I like his playoff production but I think he could use another season in Hamilton.

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

    • ManApart says:

      Forget about Avtsin and Enqvist, they won’t make it in the NHL. Leblanc and Kristo are way better prospects, although they are by no means sure bets to become impact players.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Avtsin’s a 19 year old who was twice injured in his rookie year playing on NA ice, what exactly were we expecting, PPG? As a 4th-round pick it’s a while before he can be labeled a bust. Engqvist was the best defensive forward in Hamilton all season as well.

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

        • ManApart says:

          Maybe it’s a little early to write off Avtsin, but from what I’ve seen I seriously doubt he has future top 6 potential. That’s where he has to be, to make the NHL. Players like Enqvist are a dime a dozen. The only reason he’s remotely interesting is his size. Montreal has a million bottom 6 type players. Eller will be the future 3rd line center here, and there’s also DD. Enqvist’s contract ends after next season at which time he will not be resigned.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            So having a 6’4″ 4th-line centre who has a great defensive ability is a bad idea?

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

          • ManApart says:

            We can find a better fit role player for the 4th line. I’ll take a tough guy like Ryan White or Konopka (who also is great at faceoffs) or definately a guy like Halpern. Like I said Enqvist is a dime a dozen.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Konopka is passing 30, meaning as a tough guy he’s on the downhill, he’s had 58 fights in his last two seasons and looking at the NHL enforcers who are dealing with concussion issues (Boogaard, Orr) from similar fight-filled seasons I’m very dubious about bringing him in. Engqvist at Centre with Ryan White and another guy of his type on the wings is a good line to send out though. Halpern’s going to be 35 next season as well, if people cry for younger players, why not a 4th line with all young guys?

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

          • ManApart says:

            What can I tell you? Enqvist is just not that good. You take him on your team, I’ll take someone else and I’m almost sure PG will too.

        • Mark C says:

          I’m really dumbfound by how down some people are about Avtsin’s rookie season in N.A. Artem Anisimov under similar circumstances as a 2nd round pick put up 43 points in 74 games. Let’s see how he does next year, there is still a lot of upside here.

          • ManApart says:

            What exactly has Avtsin done to cause us to think he’ll be an NHL player? he has some skills, ya. So do a lot of people. Never played at the World Jrs. I see a raw player, who is a hell of a long way from being able to play top level hockey. He has some upside, but is a long shot to make it.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Plenty of guys also play the World Juniors and do not a damn thing after it of any significance. Drafting anyone in the later rounds means you’re waiting four to six years to get a player out of the deal. Pacioretty was an epic bust who indicated more absolute failure by Bob Gainey just last season.

            The draft is about patience, not instant results unless your club is a spectacular failure that is rewarded for being such.

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

          • Mark C says:

            I agree with what you are saying, however you need to better consider the scope of his situation. He’s 19, playing in the second or third best league in the world against mature pro’s. He’s in a new country and dealing with a new language. His production should be considered good, or at least within expectations given his circumstances.

            He’s a long year from the NHL, but given all the factors and his production; there is no reason to be down on his first season in N.A. relative to how anyone thought of him last year.

          • Logan Couture didn’t play in the world juniors.

  9. ManApart says:

    I’m now on board with picking up Jagr. The guy scored a hatty today, with Pleks getting a goal and assist. Get rid of Pouliot and let Jagr take his roster spot. That is still a massive upgrade, I don’t care that he’s 39 years old. Jagr-Pleks-Cammy would be a very nice looking first line. I mean who else is Montreal going to get to improve their garbage offense?

    • DearyLeary says:

      All due respect to Jaromir (I’d even like to see him in a Habs uni next year if the price is right), but the WCs aren’t a real good testing ground as to whether you’re NHL ready.

      • ManApart says:

        How about his point per game season in the KHL, good for 8th in league scoring. Could Pouliot do that?

        • shiram says:

          Pouliot vs Jagr is full of lolz.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          for a couple games he would….then would disapear for 10 and come back for a few more lol.

          The worst part is I think Pouliot could be a good NHL player he has all the skills and size to do it but it doesn’t work. Remember how good he was when he first played last year….he was on fire

          • ManApart says:

            People talk about Pouliot’s skills so much. Honestly I don’t see any skills that are so great. He has a good shot. His vision, passing, skating and defensive play are nothing so great. I mean they’re OK overall, but nothing deserving of a #4 overall pick. He’s also weak mentally. AK46 has a ton more skills and he’s even having a hard time being a decent top 6.

        • pat s says:

          ManApart–I kind of understand what you are saying but we need better players—probably better to develop a younger player and hopefully he becomes good

          i’d rather take mario lemieux than jagr–i guarantee you lemieux would get more points–maybe the habs should also talk with nilan -at least we will be a tougher with him eventhough he is 50 plus

          jagr can stay where he is—

          • ManApart says:

            Hey, if we can get a better young player, i’m all for it. I’ll take Erik Cole, or a Leino or someone like that. Odds are against it though. This team absolutely needs a top 6 offensive boost. So I think Jagr would make a decent 1 or 2 year stop-gap, until gomez’s contract can be dealt with and we have some real bucks to get a player. Jagr reportedly only would ask for 2 million. That’s a very reasonable salary.

          • pat s says:

            ManApart–I do understand what you are saying and I agree with many of your posts, so I do not want to sound argumentative with you, but I just see signing Jagr as cheap labour. Maybe, Montreal has no choice b/c of Gainey’s bs trade for Gomez.

            To tell you the truth, if Montreal doesn’t make significant moves this summer, ie trade/free agent signings, I have no doubt that unless Price stands on his head we won’t make the playoffs.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      when you’re right, you’re right. I would like to see that line.

  10. ManApart says:

    Great news. I had a good feeling Emelin would be coming over. It really is now or never. He’s repeatedly said that he would like to play in the NHL. It’s just really tough to turn down that KHL money. I’m very interested to see him next season. Now Markov must definately be signed to help Emelin with the transition.

  11. Hobie Hansen says:

    Ok before we call Yemelin “Tough”, let’s see what he can do against NHL caliber toughness Like Lucic, Hartnell or Staal in front of the net…

    But ya, excited to see Yemelin join the Habs but I’m still hoping we get a little tougher for the long 82-game season where we play Boston 6 times and the Flyers 4….

    Physical play and toughness was obviously lacking on our team last year and it was pretty embarrassing at certain moments during the course of the season…

  12. Chris says:

    File me under “Very happy” if Yemelin signs.

  13. fosterch says:

    Great job by Gauthier yet again. And if he can get Markov back before free agency opens, another great move.

    Spacek (or trade Spacegoat and keep Hammer?)-Subban

    We cannot afford Wiz, he’s gonna reel in somewhere close to $4 mil no doubt. Hammer is already on his last legs and Spacek can probably bring a similar game if paired with PK. If he can move Spacek and keep Wiz, that might work, but then I’m not sure about the defensive balance. Spacek can be a pillar in the playoffs. But can he stay fit and healthy? If not, we might have to keep Hammer.

    No way we can afford to not have Gill. The Bruins aren’t going away anytime soon.

  14. LA Loyalist says:

    Wow. Just what the doctor ordered. Gauthier brings in this ship it I will raise a glass to him. Gives us some real excitement going into next season and some freaking depth in case Markov isn’t 100%.

    Thanks to Serious for reporting on Yemelin all last season.

  15. Mike D says:

    Well it certainly sounds like the Emelin rumours have some validity. Of course, it ain’t done until the contract is signed. I’m excited about him finally coming over and hope he can meet the realistic expectations ( quality stay-at-home type with puck moving ability, plays physical/mean) set out for him.

    Unfortunately I think this definitely means Wiz’s time with the Habs has come to an end….if it hadn’t already. I was really licking my chops at the possibility of having Marky, PK, Wiz, and Weber on the roster next year for the PP, but cap space aside, signing Emelin also means there likely isn’t roster space available. I’m confident Markov will be re-signed regardless of the Emelin situation. Same goes for Gorges. I strongly believe Gill will be brought back for at least one more year. Add Spatch and PK who are already signed for next season, and Weber and that’s 7 Dmen. If PG can find a way to move Spatch, there may be hope to bring Wiz back but that’s not likely to happen. And of course, there’s the cap to be considered as Wiz will likely get 5mil a year on a 5 year deal by some team.

    We have to factor in Price and Soobie coming up for contract after next year. Eller’s contract also comes up at the same time and if he has a good year, he will also require a raise which we have to be able to accommodate. AK will likely get a 1 year deal this summer which means he’ll also come up for contract as a UFA next summer. We need the flexibility to sign at least Price and Soobie, and very likely Eller as an RFA at least to qualify him. The AK situation really depends on the year he has and how he factors into the team’s future.

    – Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      THankfully Spacek comes off the books after next year. And as has been pointed out in the past, after this year Gomez becomes potentially tradeable if it turns out indeed his best days are behind him.

      That would/will free up some serious cap space for the 2 Pillars on the team.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • Mike D says:

        True – but we can’t count on Gomez being tradeable. Spacek’s salary space alone should be enough to sign either Carey or PK and have a little left over. We’ll also finally have BGL’s buyout off the books which is another 500k. Hopefully all that plus whatever space we aren’t using, or the cap increasing, will be enough to sign the other, plus Eller, and AK (if warranted).

        – Honestly yours

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          If Gomez has a good season he is trade-able and if he doesn’t he gets waived and loaned out next fall IMO. Either way I don’t expect to see him in Habs™ jersey in 2012-2013 and his cap hit plus Spacek’s dollars should cover Price and PK and Eller, should Eller play his way into a big raise.

  16. Habs-royalty says:

    Further down below Bugs mentioned that the habs and the nhl owe nothing to Emelin. Well , what does he owe the canadiens or the nhl ? He isn’t 18 years old. (not to talk about the borderline slavery the nhl draft system is, at least from an european law perspective). No, he is a grown up person (25 ?) with a family and seasoned himself to one of the top defenders in his home league, arguably the second best in the world.
    If he now takes a paycut to play for the habs ( having the chance to earn even more down the road), good for him and good for us. On a 2 way contract the paycut would even be higher when sent down to the ahl. Not sure if the habs would be willing to pay him the same amount in the AHL as in the NHL (one way contract). Even if they do , i can understand that he rather wants to stay in russia. There is no romantic in this , just business.

    Talking about business… The real question whichs bag me isnt about the his ego but what does this clause means for the habs rearding Emelin being an asset for the organisation ?
    When do we loose the rights to him ?
    Can we trade him or his rights to another team after we send him back to the KHL ?
    From what i understand, until he hasnt played 70 games or so he can be sent down to the ahl without being subject to waivers (doesnt matter if it is one way or 2 way contract). Can we also send him back to the Khl without waivers ?
    Is there a difference for the salary cap if we sent him back after the training cap or after 30 games ?

    • The Habs can’t legally give him a one way contract. He has to sign an entry level deal, but because he’s 25 they can cut that down to 1 year. The maximum base salary he can receive is $925,000, with bonuses potentially bringing him to $1,017,500.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        god I love that cap number for him… downside of the 1 yr part, is if he works out as good as we all hope he does, add his name to the list of big contracts we need to sign summer of 2012. (Price, Subby, Eller…)

  17. Top Corner says:

    Heard everyone talk about this guy lately , and reading SF09’s reports all season has me excited. Then again iam a die hard HABS FAN and any news gets me searching stats this time ‘o year 😛
    Left handed….muchly needed , however they need a power forward, not defense, and this HAS to be the summer to fix this problem. I know, I know , that is an obvious statement….but this has to be the summer. We have a great core of defense now , just have to decide who stays .

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Patches for next year will be MTL’s immediate answer to a PF but another one? That’s hard, very few teams across the league can say they have two. Not sure anyone in the system fits the mold, unless Steve Quailer starts breaking out.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      Pacioretty and Kostitsyn fit the bill for Power Forwards. There’s no drastic need for another one. This team is in dire need of adding somebody who can fill in for Pacioretty in the future. Like a Nicklas Jensen or maybe even Phillip Danualt in the draft. In free agency or by trade the need to be addressed should be a right handed forward who is hard to play against. Two right handed forwards makes it a lot easier on goalies than it should be.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        My top picks for the draft are Nicklas Jensen, Mark Scheifele and JT Miller. Skilled wingers to replace our prospect pool, or in Scheifele’s case, the Big Centre. Yes we have Eller but it’s better to have more in the system.

        Jensen and the OSH boys Lessio, Jenner will keep playing together for another year so that’s solid development, Scheifele’s Barrie Colts get a boost when Aaron Ekblad comes on board, JT Miller is UND-bound, which is arguably the best hockey program in the NCAA, plus he gets to hang out with Danny Kristo and Mark MacMillan (Mike Cichy is transferring to Western Michigan).

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

    • habitual says:

      Fair enough; he doesn’t have to agree to a one way, he can just choose to go back to Russia if sent down.

  18. PeterD says:

    Love the crushing hit on Jager in the video…looks like a good hard and accurate wrist shot and good to see he isn’t taking that huge telltale windup for the slap shot that usually misses.

    I would like to see Yemelin in a Habs jersey next year and if it doesn’t work out he can go back to Russia…would be good to have Markov work with him on his North American game and language etc.

  19. The Cat says:

    Well young D men on the club is a good thing. Hamrlik, Gill and Spacek are a bit old for my liking. One of them is ok, 3 of them is a bit too much.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • OneTimer says:

      And that one of them should be Gill.

      • Mark C says:

        I think you mean *has* to be Gill. I was just fooling around with some stats. Guess who ranked 1st and 4th in not allowing 4-on-5 goals per 60 minutes? Subban and Gill. That due was the most effective unit in the NHL at not allowing 4-on-5 goals.

        Subban was on the ice for 3.20 goals per 60 minutes of 4-on-5, Gill was 3.57. Hamrlik was 7.94 and Spacek 6.02.

  20. OneTimer says:

    So I’m excited and all, but how many of Yemelin’s hits on that highlight reel would’ve been called for boarding or clipping? He better keep those borderline hits in check if he comes over…

    • TomNickle says:

      The penalties he take serve as deterrents for the opponent. The Wings don’t give Kronwall hell for the occasional charge or elbowing penalty.

      We need a guy like Yemelin to strike some fear into the opponent.

      • OneTimer says:

        Point taken, but I’d rather see him play on the edge, than cross that line on a regular basis.

        • TomNickle says:

          I know what you mean. It’s hard to say how it will go for him. He takes a lot of penalties in a league that actually emphasizes skill and consistently calls penalties for infractions that impede progress. His penalty minutes could very well be inflated by that. The adjustment to the NHL will probably result in some bad penalties, or penalties that appear bad, but I have less concern about him in terms of discipline than I had with the penalties PK took this season. And that’s not a knock on Subban, just that I feel the transition will be a bit easier for Yemelin.

        • I wouldn’t mind seeing him cross the line a couple times a game against the Bruins.

  21. bwoar says:

    Gonna be a bit of a logjam if the kid looks good in training camp. This puts tremendous pressure on Weber and a certain Josh Gorges, who is gonna have to not only come back but actually win his spot. I know he’s a hero to The Faithful, but to me he’s only a very good #5-6. Now that we have some actual competition for those spots I’d be shocked if he got a 2.75-3M contract. That said, Hal Gill has been a #5-6 playing as a #4 for 2 years, so anything goes I guess.

    But then, this is very likely the end of both Gill and Hamrlik as Habs, so the D may well look like:

    Gorges (ack)-Subban
    Sopel or Mara brought back to be #7.

    • TomNickle says:

      Gill will be back. And Weber is highly unlikely to be in the top 6 if he’s on the roster at all.

    • ebourcier says:

      You have 0 idea of what your talking about. Gill and Georges have not only been 5-6 d men but have been 1-2 or 2-3 when healty and while markov has been out, you bring them both back and it will be a blessing, you need leadership to court these new young guys and look what gill has done for PK. I dont no where you learned hockey but you obviously have a very brod view of what goes on with a hockey team.

      Markov (signs a safe 1yr 4-4.5 deal) Georges
      Gill – Pk
      Emelin – Wizard(if signed for under 4) or spacek/Hammer(signed for under 2.5 a yr)


      • Mike D says:

        My friend, I agree with you about the other poster not being correct and undervaluing both Gill and Gorges. However, you are also guilty of what you accused him/her of. There’s no way Markov signs for under 5mil on a 1 year deal, and Wiz won’t sign for 4mil either.

        – Honestly yours

    • olematelot says:

      You’re totally wrong about Gorges, he would argualby be top 4 on any team in the league. He doesn’t have to win a spot , the only way he would not be on the back end is if he lost the spot which isn’t going to happen. He has nothing to prove, Yemelin does.

  22. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    For those more interested in discussing Jagr than the potential Emelin signing – let me say this — Emelin is the story here. His style suits the north american game and he could easily be the most significant long term potential D asset after Subban.
    Jagr would be an excellent one year acqusition if the Habs were indeed a Cup favorite, which is not the case at this time.

    If Emelin is signed, we have just added one tough SOB with decent offensive skills to the D. The only Q would be how soon he could learn JM’s system.

  23. Rob says:

    whoops…wrong place

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  24. TomNickle says:

    TSN Top 10 Playoff Performances doesn’t include Carbonneau’s work on Gretzky in the ’93 final. Pathetic.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Despite the differing views on Yemelin or Emelin, pronunciation I will leave for mattyleg, the beauty is that we have Habs news to discuss, and not those sapsucking bruins. Thumbs up!

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  26. HardHabits says:

    Well it looks like another team is interested in Jagr


    • TomNickle says:

      Their fans should be thanking Jagr. If he hadn’t demanded a trade out of Pittsburgh they wouldn’t have had 5 consecutive top 5 picks. He can still help a team in a big way. Probably would be a more productive version of Johan Franzen at this stage in his career. Definitely worth a look for a lot of teams.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        He’d also be the best winger Crosby or Malkin would likely ever play with in their NHL careers.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

        • TomNickle says:

          He certainly has a lot of chemistry with Plekanec and is not easy to knock off of the puck. If Gomez gets moved out or demoted(which I am on board with now, but for different reasons than most), I would strongly consider giving $5 million to Jagr for a season.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            If it’s 5 mil, they’re not touching him, Habs are conservative with their cap and giving a guy of Jagr’s age that money just is not happening.

            – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

          • G-Man says:

            $5mil? Hahahahahahahahhahahahahahha! You sure you’re not the Sens GM?
            The NHL had only 5 players that reached the 40 goals plateau or more. Expecting a 40 year-old to score 30 is expecting a lot too much.

          • TomNickle says:

            Well we’re paying Cammalleri $6 million annually and Jagr could certainly pot 30 in the NHL today.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            For a guy who hasn’t played in the NHL in 3 years and is about to hit 40? It seems very un-Habslike and I wouldn’t do it, one thing if he’s a cheap addition at 2, 2.5 for a year but twice that? That’s shedding salary for a temporary player.

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

          • TomNickle says:

            He’s clearly still playing at a high level and his game is actually better suited for the NHL than it is the KHL. I would take the gamble personally. And the short term commitment is what makes it appealing to me. You aren’t locked in. If he’s a dud or gets hurt, you’re only on the hook for one season and you didn’t have to give up assets to get him. Quite possibly the most attractive free agent this year. The emergence of Desharnais and Eller makes Gomez expendable. And that’s the only reason I would move Gomez out.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Part of a program to put the 2000-2001 Pens back together? Guess they’ll still need to bring in Morozov, Roszival, Ference and resign Kovy.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • If you read the last line, they’re not actually interested in Jagr.

  27. eric says:

    Sign Yah Gur to play on Ple Kan Nick line with Cam Mel Larry

  28. 24 Cups says:

    He’s back!

  29. Mattyleg says:

    Know what bugs me?
    Well, I’ll tell ya.

    The inability of American announcers to pronounce the ‘flat-a’ sound. And that Canadian announcers have decided to follow this incorrect and irritating trend.


    It’s pronounced ‘mee-hal (as in Hal Gill) – ek’.
    NOT ‘Muhawl-uck.’


    ‘Hal (as in Gill again, c’mon, I know you can say it..) – ack.’ As in the noise Bill the Cat used to make.
    NOT Huh-lock.


    NOT Yaw-gur.

    (sigh) Why did this start? Why did people decide to pronounce things wrong? And who agreed that wrong was better?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • JD_ says:

      Meant to ask you this some time back, but is it Mah (as in Hal Gill)-tee-leg or Muh-tee-leg?

    • Rob says:

      probably for the same reason french announcers botch so many names….”Dino Chick-arelli” anyone? Or the same reason so many people don’t pronounce bruscetta correctly as “bru-sketta” or gyro as yee-ro. The rules of phoenics are different in every language, so people tend to pronounce names or things as they would were they to originate from their own language/ethnicity/whatever.

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, but we have the [a] sound in English!
        People just have to pronounce those names the way they look, without adding strange and wonderful vowel sounds that aren’t there.
        They can say Hal Gill, but not Hal-ak. Hollock. Atrocious.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • OneTimer says:

      The International Phonetic Alphabet is your friend. “Flat a” doesn’t mean anything in the phonetics world. I think you’re referring to [a], the open front unrounded vowel.

      That sound does actually exist in most varieties of English, as the first part of diphthongs like [aj] and [aw], as in “high” and “how”, respectively. If you can pronounce those without the off-glide, you’re all set.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I know, but was trying to make it clear to all, rather than writing [a].

        It’s not me that I’m worried about, but people in the media who are unable to know when to apply it correctly.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. TomNickle says:

    Been a nice break from this site. Some fans are excited that the team is very likely going to add a player they thought was slated to be a future building block and core player when they drafted him. Others are skeptical and think the guy’s a pylon. Facts are facts. This kid has been one of the KHL’s best defensemen since its creation, if not the best. He’s been regarded as the most NHL ready defenseman in the KHL with rights held by an NHL team. He’s physical, plays a team first style of game and thrives against the opposition’s skilled players. In addition he has some offensive ability.

    The optimism may be premature and the pessimism may be far too cynical, the truth about what this player will be lies somewhere in between the two schools of thought. He’s very likely to be a 3-4 defenseman who can play effectively at even strength and contribute on both ends of the special teams play in addition.

    That’s a great add to a team with Tinordi, Ellis and Pateryn in the system and a guy like Subban already on the big club. A pairing of Subban and Yemelin has the potential to be one of the league’s elite and in this case the Habs have followed the model of the Detroit Red Wings, even if it wasn’t intentional.

  31. Hobie Hansen says:

    All I can say is who knows what the Habs blue line is going to look like next season?
    In my world I’d like to see Subban, Markov, Wizniewski, Yemelin, Gorges, Weber and Spacek as the scratch.
    I think Gill shocked everyone with his outstanding play against the Caps and Pens in the 2009/10 playoffs but he wasn’t at that level this season.
    If we didn’t have Spacek on the books for another year I’d maybe try and keep him but that’s not the case. I saw Gill get blown past while skating backwards many times this year and he wasn’t as effective in front of the net. Gill is getting up there in age, is very slow and I don’t think Subban needs a mentor anymore. I say let him and Hamrlik walk.

    Ultimately, I’d love to see Montreal sign another defenseman like an O’Brien from Nashville, who’s a UFA, to play as our 6th defenseman. The guy is big, mean and did a pretty good job in this year’s playoffs.

    Subban, Markov, Yemelin, Wisniewski, Gorges and O’Brien would be pretty sweet!

    • TomNickle says:

      Weber is highly likely to be the scratch in that group.

    • thorandresson says:

      O’Brien? Are you out of your mind? That guy is terrible, he’s the weakest link on Nashville’s D, one of the best moves Vancouver made last year was to get rid of him.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Well a lot of Vancouver fans seem to think that because they improved their over-all defensive game by adding a couple new players that O’Brien was the cause of a crappy defense last year.
        I haven’t watched every shift of his in the NHL but what I saw of him in this year’s playoffs was pretty good. The commentators were stating that he’s turned into a solid defenseman as well.
        Would he be playing top minutes…no.
        He’d be a physical 6th defenseman on a team that has absolutely nobody to step in and protect Price or do anything in a scrum in front of the net.

        O’Brien was also a +1 in 80 games this season while averaging 17mins a game…not bad at all.

      • TomNickle says:

        Interesting opinion. Between Blum, Franson and O’Brien, I think Barry Trotz would have O’Brien at the top of that list in terms of how effective they were.

        • thorandresson says:

          Really? Then why does he play Blum more than O’Brien? And Blum had 6 points in the playoffs, pretty awesome for a 22 year old.

          • TomNickle says:

            Special teams my friend. Blum plays the powerplay and O’Brien very often only plays in the defensive zone. He takes a lot of quick shifts. On the ice for defensive zone faceoffs and gets off when they get the puck out.

            Blum’s a terrific young player but O’Brien has been nowhere close to the liability you made him out to be. I’m not a fan of his either, but he was very impressive in how disciplined he was in the playoffs and how steady he was defensively.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            The original statement was to have O’Brien play for the Habs as a 6th defenseman. I wasn’t suggesting he was the next Bobby Orr or that he would rival Subban for time on the PP.

            The plus/minus stat isn’t the most reliable stat of all-time but Vancouver fans are awfully critical of a physical defenseman who was +15 in his final year in Vancouver.

  32. arcosenate says:

    Hat trick Jagr, another point for Pleks.

    sign him!

    • HabsoluteFan says:

      Great play by Pleks

    • nek25plus says:

      Leave him in Europe…we don’t need him. He would be an dead weight and you people would be all over him.

      • Bugs says:

        Well then, that would in turn leave room for YOU people to bitch about it, no? With your future-reading abilities and such, you could prance about in vindication. That’s what YOU people do, no?
        So everything would balance out; what’s the problem?

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

        • TomNickle says:

          And without people bitching about it, who would you bitch at Bugs?

        • nek25plus says:

          really??? Admit it…you can’t seriously think that 30 NHL teams passed on him and we should take him just because he is playing well at the Worlds!? THE WORLDS!!! And that he would be run out of town in MTL? He was slow in New York and the Habs are a fast skating team…

          My problem…we don’t take him as an experiment and avoid the problem altogether!

          • Bugs says:

            Yeah, he was so slow in NY, he finished 1st in pts every year.
            “Dead weight” like that, nobody needs, right?

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

    • thorandresson says:

      Let’s hope Gauthier is in Bratislava for more than just Emelin!

      I’ve been hoping the Habs sign Jagr for the last few years.

    • Marcusman says:

      Is Pierre Gauthier over there yet? I agree sign him he’d be fantastic for the team.

  33. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I’m not sure I understand why people are freaking out about the possibility of Emelin playing with Markov. That doesn’t mean he will play “Top-2” minutes.

    You people forget that O’Byrne played with Markov and wasn’t playing as much as Markov. JM will manage his defense’s ice-time according to the situation.

    If Emelin plays with Markov 5-on-5 only and doesn’t play any special teams (PP or PK), he will probably only play around 15-17 minutes a game. That doesn’t mean that Markov won’t play his customary 23-25 minutes.

    Just like when Gill and P.K. play together, they aren’t ALWAYS playing together. They will play together 5-on-5 and on the PK (unless JM decided to put Gill back with Gorges). P.K. gets lots more ice-time because he also plays the PP.

    Just like if Weber is on our “bottom pairing”, he will only play around 15 minutes MAX 5-on-5 but will get some PP time, so his TOI may be higher than Emelin’s. Hence, Emelin and Weber could be seen as 5th and 6th defensemen, but they are never playing together.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    Playing Emelin with Markov makes the most sense (provided Emelin can play the right side). Why? Because Markov can communicate with him better and mentor him and also because Emelin’s skill set compliments Markov’s perfectly.

    What’s the big deal? In the end, if the guy sucks, JM won’t play him with Markov. But, if he plays the way we think he can, it’s a no-brainer tandem.

    • G-Man says:

      The league speaks English- if Emelin can’t it will be a huge problem communication-wise.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        Did Markov speak English when he first came up? This isn’t anything new. Of course, he will have to learn English to stay in the league. If he signs, I’m sure he will be taking an intensive English course or something, but playing him with Markov would ease his transition.

        Also, Bobrovsky didn’t speak any English when he came into the league this year, but that didn’t prevent him from communicating with his teammates and having early success. He will start with simple phrases used on the ice and he will work from there.

  34. cournoyer12 says:

    Ah, where is all the old gang, the Teacher, etc…
    Seems I was the reason for the changing of the old format…
    Happy fishing, fellas…

  35. HabsoluteFan says:

    Pleks with a beauty, 3-0 Czech

  36. JD_ says:

    D-man potentially signed for a year. Maybe he’ll be great, maybe he won’t, maybe he’ll be ok. Can go home if he doesn’t want to play in Hamilton.

    No downside for anyone.

    Everybody wins.

    What I really want to know is which drawer the Jagr contract is sittin’ in. Anyone know any of the delivery dudes at the Bell Centre St-Hubert?

    • twocents says:

      Exactly, no downside.

      And to think the rabbit’s getting his fur all tied in a knot over it… with his “show me” act.

      If all there was to this fandom stuff was reacting to what’s already taken place, a good portion of the fun would be sucked outta it.

      Anyway, its all baloney on his part, he afforded optimism over chicken boy even though he’d proven nada in the show.(as did I)

      Speculation is part of the game and this move does nothing but add potential, subtracting nothing but a little ink… “… a little mascara” (name that tune)

      • JD_ says:

        “If all there was to this fandom stuff was reacting to what’s already taken place, a good portion of the fun would be sucked outta it.”

        This notion applies to life in general, $0.02; you either live it lookin’ down the road or spend all your time navigatin’ via the rear-view mirror.

        As for Bugsy, he’s just messin’ around. Everybody doin’ the mess around.

        Afternoon, things are quiet
        Settle back now if you can
        Stations clip by like a rocket
        Don’t you worry if you wonder why Jagr ran

  37. twocents says:

    Ah, the rebirth of Courny12. You folks are in for treat. I suggest you not waste too much time trying to reason. This person has likely been around the whole time as toni or whoever, but now their true shape is revealed once again.

    Behold the glory.

  38. mrhabby says:

    I don’t know to much about this player other than bits/pieces here and there. I will say..he is young and mobile and not afraid of getting dirty then its postive. Seems to me the kid will have an adjustment period to go through either in steel city or where ever they plan to start him.
    maybe he is the next russian chelios..who knows.

  39. Mattyleg says:

    Watching the Czech-US game.
    2 thoughts:

    1: The Czech team is amazing. All their big stars are there. Unlike the US. No Miller, no Kane, no Dustin Brown…

    b: Maaaaaan, Komisarek sucks.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  40. habs365 says:

    Some people are borned complainers

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      “borned” isn’t a word.

      I’m guessing you mean “born complainers”… and I agree with you on that.

    • cournoyer12 says:

      After almost 20 years of “Borned” play Habs fans don’t want to turn out to be Laffs fans, what’s it now, since 1967, do we want to follow those losers?? Notice how the NY Yankees fans complain after a non playoff season, next year…World Series Champions again..And to think sports fans used to talk about Our Beloved team in the same breathe as them..Not anymore…

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        amazing post…

      • habs365 says:

        cournoyer12: It’s all about money and smart management they go together that’s why the Habs hasn’t won a cup, must warn you get use to it.
        if you manage your household like the Habs are managed, your supper menu would be jam sandwiches four days a week.

  41. cournoyer12 says:

    I remember a few years ago fans here were posting lists of Habs prospects under the Gainey regime, what ever became of thos “lists”?? Chipchura , lol, now with Yems coming here for a year, does we trade Markov, as we still have Gorges returning, plus PK Subban sure looks good. This team needs an infusion of young talent, but how many Habs fans trust these scouts we have?? Getzlaf would have been a nice find a few years ago, but we went with another loser in Kostitsyn..(the one still here)..How many games did I hear one announcer after another complain that “Andrei is loafing agin”…We need another GM like Boob Gainey to take Scott Blowmez off of our hands..fill him up with Molson.. Big center, power foward, and a couple of snipers, after all, we were both the lowest scoring team in the playoffs again, and had the worst road record of those 16 teams…That’s why we’re fishing with the Leafs..

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I love when people say things like all we need are “a big centre, a power forward, and a couple of snipers”

      this isn’t fantasy hockey, whicj is the big centre? who is the power forward? and who are the “couple” of snipers? and how do you plan on getting those 4 people on this team and under the cap?

      • cournoyer12 says:

        Getzlaf at #19..Corey Perry at #27, that’s where they were. Problem is Our scouts werent there…

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          what about every other team that passed on them, you know the first 18 teams that picked before Getzlaf, and the first 26 that picked before Perry? do they all have terrible scouts? Or maybe drafting is not an exact science, and you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

          I vote for option 2.

  42. lukas-joshua says:

    I don’t know why people are so negative on this signing?? People call this guy the best D man that’s not playing in the NHL. He can’t be that bad, he does one thing that Gill doesn’t. He hits people, and that’s what we need.

    • cournoyer12 says:

      More low level signings that’s why Habs fans are complaining. When’s the last time we had a player or two that lifted you out of your seats..Building a “History’ here or a ‘mYSTERY” HERE…Living in the “Fast lane’ or living in the ‘Past lane”..You decide.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        so who is the high level singing that you think we should sign this year that will lift people out of their seats?

        • cournoyer12 says:

          Ask Gainey, He put us in this mess, if you want me to fix “his disaster’ pay me..Pleks is a playoff bust and Gomez is simply a bust, werent our leaders watching Gomez do nothing the last couple of years…Hope teams like Boston and Philly, (if they get a decent goalie” send us postcards from the Finals since our team wont be seeing them for a very long, long time..

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            wow… the reason no one would pay you anything is you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        “When’s the last time we had a player or two that lifted you out of your seats..”

        This year. His name is P.K. Subban!

        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Head-shots League.

      • Mark C says:

        Free agency hasn’t started, it isn’t possible to have a high level signing, yet. This is the signing of a draft pick.

  43. HabsFanInTampa says:

    I don’t know if this was mentioned on this site earlier. But, The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens will play a pre-season game in Quebec City.

  44. SeriousFan09 says:

    Ah, my fantasy about the 11-12 Blueline coming to fruition.

    And after he seemed like a lost cause, credit to “The Ghost” Pierre Gauthier for getting this sorted out.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  45. Kooch7800 says:

    Wow, I am excited that AY is coming to North America but reading some of these comments you think we just got Chris Pronger. He has done well in the KHL but that is not the NHL. Look at players who strive in the AHL and never make it. This could really go either way.
    I am also not convinced that he is that tough either. I saw him get speed bagged a few times in the KHL and the NHL is a lot tougher of a league to play in.

    Either way this singing is a good thing for the Habs and the NHL but I think we need to not put unrealistic expectations on this kid

  46. Hoegarden says:

    I was very high at one time on Valentenko and as we all know, he never panned out the way he was presented to us (tough as nails, fear no one). Now Emmy is in the big pic. I would give him a contract but he would have to understand that he must spend a month or two in the Hammer, just to get over the change, make the necessary adjustments and prove himself. We definitely need a player who can clear the crease area and stick up for his mates. Our seniors (Gill, Spack and Hammer) is basically out of gas by mid-Feb. It is a win-win situation.

  47. arcosenate says:

    Jagr just got another one, he has both goals for the Czechs today. Looking good, what the hell Pierre, give him a call after the game, see if he wants to come over and play with Pleks.

    Can’t hurt.

  48. habs365 says:

    If they have Yemelin, PG should think about making a deal for a couple of forwards that can put the puck in the net, unlike some we have. who couldn’t score in a soccer net…….

  49. avatar_58 says:

    Is it me or is it a tad askew that this is happening BEFORE Markov, Gorges, Wiz, Gill, whoever else is signed? I mean shouldn’t they map out who’s staying/going FIRST then choose new bodies?

    • Mark C says:

      No. If you can get a guy like this, you do. Montreal only has Subban and Spacek signed, need to get some legit NHL players signed. If anything signing Yemelin now gives PG leverage (a slight amount) during talks with the others.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Markov, Gorges and Gill are basically sewn up, done deals. They all want to stay, and the organization wants them all back. I think the yemelin angle is a money saving play, by getting him, they don’t have to spend extra money on the wiz. Even though he did a great job for the team, I can’t see them keeping him at the 4mill per that he’s going to ask for, that would be way too many dollars on the back end. Even with hammer’s money coming off the books, that will be eaten by marky, gorges and gill’s new deals, with anything left over, plus the 2mill extra per team for the new tv deal and say maybe another mill or two for the escalating salary cap will go to a forward that will help with the offense.


    • DearyLeary says:

      Don’t forget that Gorges is still an RFA, those contracts tend to be easier to negotiate. It’s also hard to see Markov going anywhere. Gill has voiced that he’d give a hometown discount to stay in Montreal.

      None of those sound particularly urgent. Bringing a talented Russian defenceman into the fold has proven difficult, not just for the Canadiens, but for the league in general.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      he’s only getting an entry level deal, so signing him won’t preclude us from that other business.

      • avatar_58 says:

        It seems overly complicated though, do they plan on benching him most of the season? He can’t be sent down due to his ego, erm….I mean supposed contract clause and they aren’t sure whether he’ll adjust

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          I don’t see it as ego so much as this guy now has a family he has been taking care of and has been making a good salary in the KHL. If he weren’t good enough for the NHL, why would he make peanuts in the AHL and not be able to support his family when he could make his living in the KHL. I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable.

          Nowhere have I read that he said he wants to be guaranteed to be on the team before signing or guaranteed a certain amount of ice-time. I think he understands he will have to earn his place, but he would like to have the option to go back to the KHL to better support his family should he not make the cut. I can’t really hate him for that.

          He will be good enough to make our top 7 though, so I don’t see it being an issue.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        I think basically it’s safe trial for them…. if he doesn’t seem good enough to play top 6, they’ll just let him go back to Russia, no harm no foul. At least that way we will have gotten a look at him and we won’t be left to wonder if he could have contributed.

  50. veryhabby says:

    woohooo, I am so very habby if this happens!!! I think most have him in the 2 spot cause he is Russian and I can only assume his english wouldn’t be that great. But as a 25 yr old, sure he’ll be a rookie, but he has been playing pro and is doing well. so don’t be too afraid to put him there. The best part of this move is that it will save us from having to sign a top 4 UFA dman, money we can use for our frwds.

    My pairings….
    the reason why I have Gill on 3rd pairing and not on 2nd is cause it will limit his 5 on 5 ice time PLUS allow him to now mentor Weber as he did Gorges/Pk. Each pairing will have a O type dman and a stay at home type Dman. It is PERFECT fits, if all are healthy and Emelin can play regular in NHL, which I believe he will. Don’t worry PK will get his ton of ice time…PK & PP plus second pairing!

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Very rare that a team brings in a unproven rookie and sticks him on the top pairing. I’ve got a hundred bucks that says that won’t happen.

      • DearyLeary says:

        I would eat my Price jersey if they started Yemelin at the #2 slot with Markov.

        • habs03 says:

          I think its possible, if you remember whenever we had a full line-up, Martin would use all 6 D-men, Gill and Gorges were the 3rd pairing but would always play 20 plus minutes with PK time, and O’bryne was playing on the “1st” pairing with Markov but was playing a lot less mintues.

    • dizzy says:

      Hey veryhabby, I would have to disagree myself. I would not have spacek, sopel any where near this line up. They have to make room for Wiz(a must) weber, yemlin, Picard. Time to get of the old plugs which can play hard the whole game. Also time to get rid of AK, Pouliout, and time to realize Darch and Moen are not a a top 2 line material. Very good at 3 and 4th lines which we have enough of.

  51. habs365 says:

    The only concern I have with Hamrlik is age–he contributes, had more points than half of our forwards. he may have had a few bad games but who didn’t on the Habs that’s why there Golfing right now. if PG wants to build a solid team take a page out of Detroits book. every year they compete can’t beat that and win the odd cup……

  52. Bugs says:

    Yay. Emelin. We’re saved. He’s the best guy in the world. He’s so, so great. Bestest skill. Must be paired with Markov right off the bat cuz he’s so, so good. And as we all know, if you drink enough kool-aid, anyone what’s never played a game in the NHL should nevertheless become dominant. Caaaaan’t wait.
    And IF EVER, by some gosh-knows-how reason, he gets totally outplayed and outclassed on every shift once he gets here cuz the NHL is a cut above whatever garage league he was playin in beforehand, I promise to do my best to temper the snark-factor in my comments regarding him.

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

    • DearyLeary says:

      I know it’s not saying much, but he was the best Russian defenceman in the Olympics.

      What it does mean is that the Canadiens will have a lot more flexibility in how they approach filling out their blue line this year. If anyone’s hailing him as a saviour, that would be foolish.

      Like I mentioned before, I’d expect him to start off with some 5-6 slot minutes. He’s got a decent shot by all accounts, he might see some power play time on the second unit.

      I simply wouldn’t discount how useful it will be to have a physical defenceman who will likely cost very little in comparison to a lot of the free agents we could sign instead. I’d say he’s capable of playing #4 minutes as he gets acclimatized to the pace of the NHL when compared to European hockey.

      • Bugs says:

        What Olympics? Couver? He was the best D??? I don’t remember enough to argue whether he was or wasn’t but even if I did, my case would be closed because the WHOLE d-corps seemed to suck as we were shellacking them so that’s not saying much as to his supposed “better-than-others” abilities, I’m sure you agree.
        We have 11 d-men to choose from BEFORE adding Emelin, soooo, that’s NOT “adding flexibility”; I’m afraid.
        The thing is, if he gets a clause that allows him to go back home if he ain’t good enough to make the squad, how far off are we from listening to him squawk about not him feeling appreciated in a “5-6 slot”?
        Hey, we drafted’m, fersure he should get a shot. What I’M sayin is: so far? He’s a nobody. We don’t OWE him nuthin. He owes US. Up to HIM to prove he can play here JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE, not the other way around, that is, hypin the guy who’s never played an NHL game in his life but is sooooo, sooooo good in a garage league.
        That’s why Ramo is suddenly a superstar goalie what couldn’t stop sh*te in the NHL.
        Emelin is a nobody until he shows us otherwise. And that means NHL, baby. The rest is all talk.

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

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Yemelin is going to be cheap as hell compared to everyone else on the roster, might as well get our ducks in a row RE him and PG still has until July 1st to sort out the details for the rest of the team.

          Ramo being a Top 3 goalie in the KHL is still more impressive than Desjardins being a backup in the AHL (you probably couldn’t get a 7th-round pick for Cedrick’s services right now). I wouldn’t have taken Craig Anderson at the age Ramo was sent as a sacrifical lamb by the incompetent TBL management into the net, but today? A lot of teams like him, which is why he’s signed in OTT long-term.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

          • Bugs says:

            No, it’s not more impressive because Ramo was ALSO a backup in the AHL. And if he’s a top3 in the KHL now, then it stands to reason Cedric would be a top2.
            But sadly, none of that means doodly-squat in the NHL.

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

    • twocents says:

      No one’s, at least not me, are talking saviour, Bugsy. Simply a useful young D, who’s seasoned, has potential to be quite useful and brings aspects we need.

      Can we only get excited about saviours? Sure, maybe it doesn’t work, that’s always in play, there are no sure things. But, we may have just added a useful D, without giving anything up. And, he’s not some other team’s spare part who costs a useful pick. It’s an addition with zero risk.

      Wherever the KHL falls competition wise, it is at least the equal of the AHL, and if we allow ourselves optimism when a player succeeds there, why not in this scenario? It’s not like he’s playing with one of their bush teams either, AK Bars is a top team.

      So, lighten up little bunny, and turn that frown upside down. At this point in the season it’s all hypothetical.

    • The Cat says:

      Ca sent la coupe!

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • punkster says:

      First errant pass, first missed check, first giveaway and it’ll all be on Jackie Martin ’cause we all know JM can’t handle kids.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  53. MikeMcLaren says:

    Well, things certainly just got a lot more interesting, didn’t they?

    Who knew that the Canadiens would finally be able to pry one of their KHL prizes out of Russia? Are we going to hear about an Alexander Perezhogin signing to cure our top 6 woes in the next few weeks? Ha!

    Great signing, by all accounts though. So good work to Gauthier and whatever intermediary he used. Sounds like this guy’s an angry gentleman (dare I say full of “NAG”?), he’s stocky and… he’s Russian.

    I wonder how much English he speaks?

    I agree with most here that this pretty much points to the re-signing of Markov who will act as a mentor and translator – both language and cultural. That part is KEY.

    It will also be very interesting to see what knocking down this domino does to the rest of the defensive corps.

    Wisniewski, if we remember, wasn’t actually put in place to replace Markov, he was advertised as a replacement for Josh Gorges.

    Regardless, we’ve got some nice pairings if we go with:


    I’ll miss Wisniewski. In an ideal world, they bail on Spacek and sign Wiz. In reality, Spacek will likely play out his contract.

    Already an intriguing start into what will be a pretty interesting off-season for the Habs, I’d say.


    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Ya, they are gonna bring in a rookie and stick him on the top pairing right away. Doubtful. It will look more like this:

      Wiz or Mara/Emelin

  54. DearyLeary says:

    This gives us a lot more flexibility with how we fill in our D core. Hopefully he can come into the lineup and immediately fill a 5-6 role, and eventually work up to a 3-4 slot.

    PK’s our horse, but a guy like Yemelin will never hurt (unless you count hurting the other team). A physical defenceman… it’s like a dream world. I can hear the trolls clamouring already about our small team.

  55. diehardhab says:



    If only they could get rid of Spacek!

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  56. 24 Cups says:

    Yemelin coming to NA is great news. However, let’s take it easy before we have him playing top pairing minutes. Same goes for Gorges. Subban gets the most ice time on defense, even ahead of Markov. You then work back through the pairings from there.

    I can’t see giving Markov a long term contract. Posters say it doesn’t matter if he gets hurt again because we will have the cap space. That’s true, but it also means we will have to go out and get another Dman which means at least a 2nd rounder or a solid prospect. Been there, done that.

    • habs03 says:

      The issue I have with people saying that Markov might get hurt agian, is they don’t bring up that Wiz had the same knee injury has 3 times already.

      • habs365 says:

        That say’s something about management. why would they want a guy like wiz. one bad hit away from missing half a season or longer. Be sure that’s one of the reason’s he was let go not just contract.some management is smart others. will we won’t go there….

      • 24 Cups says:

        Trying to take the emotional component out of it, I would certainly find it a worry to re-sign three Dmen long-term who have all just had knee surgery.

        Markov has to realize that his free agent window has been compromised to a certain degree. Middle ground suggests a two year deal, three tops. If a Sather type GM throws big coin and term at him, then it might mean having to say goodbye.

        This is Gauthier’s toughest test yet as there is no clear path to take.

        • twocents says:

          Steve, There’s no emotion to it, Markov’s don’t grow on trees.

          In the scenario developing, Markov doesn’t get to find out what another GM would throw at him. This is supposed to be done by the end of May. Habs started at one year, 5 million, Meehan said Markov wants to stay at 5.75.

          Considering this starting point and the rumour that Markov wants term, it sure points to some middle ground in the 2-4 year term with a 4.75-5.25 range. Or one side walks.

    • twocents says:

      Steve, with regard to Markov’s health, it’s a risk, but good teams have taken this type of risk many times. Neidermeyer, Pronger… Pronger. I say you have to take the risk. You can’t walk away from a guy of his talent, who is happy in the organization, just to eliminate risk. This is good risk.

      As far as top minutes go, that gets sorted on the ice and I don’t think anyone said Yemelin would be getting top two minutes, even he plays with Markov, he likely won’t see much special team time.

      Oh and I’d risk a second rounder to take a spin on Markov anyday. It will cost much more than that to replace his ability if we don’t sign him.

      Think about it, if a team came to you and offered Markov for second rounder, would you take it?
      Nice thing is, IF he stays healthy we give up zilcho.

      • TommyB says:

        Agree. Performance on the ice dictates ice time, and performance dictates PP time. I think it would be great to have some competition in those areas on the Habs D. I know this deal hasn’t been put to paper yet, so let’s take a step back for a moment anyway. We’ve heard stories like this before, haven’t we? If this kid does come over, I hope he can adapt quickly to the NHL’s rules/non rules in regards to physical play. Looks like this kid likes to hit, but the NHL doesn’t seem to know what is actually a penalty, or what is actually suspension worthy. Could be some adjustment time in store for Yemelin.

        You make a good point regarding Markov, two cents. I’m normally quite cautious with risky situations, but the examples you gave go a long way towards backing up your point. Not to mention, Markov could be a perfect teacher for the young pupil (Yemelin). No communication issues there. Markov likes playing in Montreal, and maybe his tutoring can rub off on Yemelin, which could translate into a lengthier contract down the road. But….again, let’s see Yemelin in a Habs jersey first, and second, let’s see if he is all he is advertised as.

        • twocents says:

          There’s no doubt that all my posts today are predicated on this being for real and of course there’s a chance it’s not, but for the sake of discussion I’m commenting from that perspective.

          And sure, maybe he’s not as much of a hotshot as he is in the smaller pond, but a 25 year old 5th or 6th who has real upside is good news too, in my view. A lot better than scraping the healthy scratch lists of other teams and blowing a draft pick.

          The odds of him not being able to be a useful sixth D are fairly small considering he’s one of the best D in the KHL.

          I can’t see much downside, other than it not working out, which is always in play in any situation, so why focus on it?

          There’s certainly nothing pointing to it being stacked towards not working out, that I can see.

    • twocents says:

      Oh, and if Gill stays, he plays with Subban. Minutes gets sorted other ways, power play, double shifting.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Exactly, the guy above has Emelin on the first pairing with Markov, I really do not see that happening. And I would expect to see Gorges and Gill renew their pairing as they were a very good pairing for us. The rest will probably be juggled around till they can find the right chemistry.

  57. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Well, if this is true, then it is GREAT news.

    I don’t see how anyone can think it is not great news. Last year, we spent most of the season with 3 d-men over 35 with no physical edge. In the playoffs, we had even more old guys on D with Sopel and Mara (although Mara isn’t THAT old).

    Adding Emelin addresses several holes on our defense. We get younger and more mobile. We add some offensive potential (not saying it’s a lock, but he’s had a nice progression in the pros). And, most importantly, we add physicality bordering on Kasparaitis-ness. What is wrong with any of that?

    Plus, he won’t cost much on the cap compared to similar defensemen that would be available on the UFA market. Add to that the fact that we already have the perfect mentor/defense partner for him in Andrei Markov, and this move would be full of win.

    Do it PG!

  58. G-Man says:

    I am not convinced that a 6′ 1″ 191 lb Dman is all that great. Not one game on North American ice. 191lbs for a Dman described as a bruiser is, to put it mildly, pretty light.
    Pairing him with the #1 Dman (Markov, if he signs) is a huge stretch. He may not be able to adjust to the game here and/or the lifestyle.

    • twocents says:

      It’s the optimistic view, for sure.
      But, if he doesn’t adjust quickly, there are other pairing options, like putting Gorges back with Markov and moving him to the third pair.

      Don’t sweat his weight at this point. There’s too much conflicting info. has him at 222lbs.
      We’ll know when he gets here. The one thing we do know is that he has a rep as punishing hitter over there, so he’s not likely as slight as some reports say.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      The weight thing is all over the map. Some of the numbers you find on him are from years ago. KHL lists him at over 200 lbs, so who knows what it really is until he gets here. I’m guessing he’s heavier than 191. The guy looks pretty solid to me.

      PK isn’t huge, but he’s built strong and knows how to hit. Emelin could be the same way, plus he seems to LIKE dishing out hits and getting in people’s faces.

      While he hasn’t played on North American ice, and there will definitely be an adjustment period for him, everything I have read about him seems to indicate his game is more suited for North America anyway.

      How is pairing him with Markov such a strecth when we’ve seen Markov play with Komisarek and O’Byrne? Markov has said in the past he prefers to play with guys who can move the puck. Emelin can definitely do that better than both of those guys. While he may not be as big as either of them, he seems to be no slouch on D and in the physical apects of the game. Plus, the Russian factor could really pay off in terms of chemistry.

    • el heffe says:

      he was 191 lbs when he was 18. probably 210 now

      nobody knows the pain of being a Habs fan in a world of Habs fans…

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Yemelin’s been listed at over 215 pounds by the KHL for a while, 190 is an old weight for him.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  59. JoeC says:

    Why would ANYONE defend Hamerlick, how can anyone say hes been our most steady defenceman? hes slow, hes a reason why our forwards suck, and let me explain why. Hamer pinchs and forechecks in the offensive zone more then ANY one of our defenceman INCLUDING PK, and he has absoloutly 0 offensive skill, personally hes as good as Gill, but he keeps wasting our chances by pinching keeping a forward at the blue line. Hammer is a terrible defenceman because he does NOT know his job anymore and im so happy to see him no in a habs jersey anymore. Dont give me this crap over and over that hes a steady defenceman, he fakes an injury to try and draw a penalty to cost us a game, and he WAS NOT SPEARED. Even Price know Hammer was full of poop on that play. Please Hammer, let the door smack you on the head on the way out and see you later.

    • sims says:

      yikes. agree to disagree

      and as for the spear…a blade of a stick to the neck hurts. probably shouldnt have embellished it that much but that seems like the only way to get the call these days. just ask vancouver

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        I’d rather a guy get up and play his position when the opposing team is attacking his zone than stay down to embellish in the HOPES of getting a call.

        I like Hamrlik and think he did a great job while he was here. Unfortunately, due to injuries, he was always forced to play more than he should have.

        However, I don’t think we can keep going on with three guys over 35 on D, and since Spacek isn’t likely to be moved and Gill is very important to bring back, Hamrlik is the odd man out.

    • G-Man says:

      Wow. Written like a guy whose had his head smacked…this morning.

  60. kempie says:

    What a perfectly awful song!

  61. twocents says:

    @ Captain aHab

    I say give Markov term. He’s under 35, so there is far less risk if his knee doesn’t recover.

    3-4 yrs at 4.5- 5 mill.

    I’m happy. If his knee is even 80 percent, it’s a good deal.

  62. twocents says:

    The perfect defence partner for Markov on so many levels.

    Markov needs a shooter… check!

    Markov needs a physical partner to keep the goons off him… check!

    Markov’s game benefits from a partner who can be relied on to cover when he rushes…check!

    And Markov will be a great mentor for a young Russian like Yemelin. There’s no better possible fit. And, I love that he has been seasoned at the pro level before coming here.

    So back to my speculation from last night. Does this mean Gill won’t be back or does it mean Wiz is history? We know Subban, Weber, Spacek and most likely Gorges are back. I think I prefer seeing a top 7 of:
    Markov- Yemelin
    Subban- Gill
    Gorges- Spacek/Weber
    Subban, Weber and apparently Yemelin bring a shot, so Wiz’s best skill might be well represented. And that frees up cash for another significant forward.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      This will mean the end of Wiz. We have Subban and Markov who can move the puck and shoot. Wiz was great while he was here and I would love to see him back, the salary cap with players on our team making 8 million really limit what they can do.

      That isn’t a shot at Gomez it is a reality. We have a ton of cash in Cammy, Gomer and Gio, AK and Markov will be a big one, same with Price and Subban next year.

      Youth is extremely important as they are the cheaper cap hits.

      I am glad to see he will come to Montreal but I am cautiously optimistic as he hasn’t played a game in North America and it is a bit of an adjustment

    • habs03 says:

      I think this means the end of Hamrlik, Wiz won’t take a discount to stay and he shouldn’t, Wiz said it himself, its either Markov or him, and the easy and right choice is Markov, Gill seems like a lock to be back, my only question about Emelin to anyone that might know, is can he play Right D, if so that would be perfect.

    • habitual says:

      I think you have it right – if the report is accurate. Wiz won’t be back under this scenario. I would be ok with it, save for the one year deal bit. If Yemelin leaves after a year, we lose on having the Wiz for several years.

      • twocents says:

        I suspect the one year deal bit will serve to set his eventual price tag after seeing how he handles the North American game. It likely indicates the first year will be reasonably priced, allowing him to show his worth without sacrificing years of underpay. Either way he’d still be RFA.
        I am sure he’d have fun playing with Markov.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        The one-year deal part is because he MUST sign an entry-level deal, but only for one year because of his age. Not much PG or him can do about it. He’ll likely have bonus clauses.

        I like it, because you get to see what he has to offer for a year, and then you can negotiate longer-term if it works out. Whether Emelin comes or not, we are probably not going to be able to afford Wiz.

  63. HabinBurlington says:

    I think this a very good progressive step forward by PG. I would think PG had lots of discussions with Markov regarding Emelin and that this would have been some influence.

    Assuming Gorges, Markov, Gill are all resigned, Spacek/Weber/Emelin will be competing for 5, 6, and 7th defensemen. I do wish the Wiz would take a discount to stay in a real hockey city. That would be a good skating Defence grouping and we could leave Spacek in the Press Box all year, given we can’t bury his salary due to his 35+ contract.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  64. habs03 says:

    This looks pretty good to me
    7th/8th Weber (Spacek)

  65. Shiloh says:

    A young defenseman with a chance to be a regular in the NHL – always good news. Markov might be a vital signing now – he could be a great mentor for Yemelin. I’m in favour of signing Markov, by the way. If he stays injury-free, great. If not, we get cap relief. Gomez, however, is another matter. Maybe he wants to play in France – or Madagascar, anywhere……

  66. Mark C says:

    FYI: the KHL lists his weight as 223 lbs.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      never trust the KGB lol

      • Mark C says:

        Haha. Good point, but he doesn’t look like 191 lbs. either.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think he is playing in the WHJ that is currently on and Canada plays Russia tomorrow at 2:00 pm on TSN. I set my PVR to see this kid in action. I have only seen clips on youtube.

          He looks like he can hit. Kronwall is only 192 pounds and he crushes people. Did you see that hit on Clowe…..ouch

          • Mark C says:

            Yeah, Kronwall is something else. He’s just the type of D Montreal needs, someone who can play and is physical. Yemelin seems to have a little Kronwall in him, albeit without the same level of offensive ability.

  67. sims says:

    Why all the dissing of the hammer? he has been the most consistent habs D for the last two years. i say sign him for one year at half the price. you think a russian d is going to come to the team and instantly play 20min? cmon

    ps. nothing against the kid but that is the worst highlight reel ive seen in a while. wow…look at him score from behind the net off the defenders skate! didnt see a single slapper in there either….

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Hammer was great in the regular season but really stunk in the playoffs….that was mainly from over use in the season as he isn’t a kid anymore. Unfortunately with the cap i don;’t see him back.

    • arcosenate says:

      Just a matter of numbers, as in age, price and younger guys coming up. Not dissing him, it’s just the way it will work out.

  68. athanor says:

    Their “calling” him Emelin would be because that’s basically how his name is spelled. But Russian pronounces an initial E like that as Ye. Hence, Yemelin.
    Sort of the same way the NHL spelled Kostitsyn as Kastitsyn for the longest while.

  69. 4m3y2j says:

    It is great that everyone is excited but lets also temper this with our history with Russian players.Aside from Markov it has not been an overwhelming success.History shows the work ethiic is shoddy.
    Just something to keep in mind….

  70. Captain aHab says:

    De Foy also says in the article that Markov is apparently looking for term. If he wants $5M for several years, I hope they let him walk. Too much of a risk right now.

  71. dre1744 says:

    music too my ears bye bye Hamrilik

  72. Habfan29 says:

    That means he will stay in Montreal and get a chance, bye bye hamrlik and mara….

  73. aemarchand11 says:

    Yes! Great news!

    “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man.” – Charlie Sheen.

  74. arcosenate says:

    That certainly muddies the waters on defence, I assume that’s the end of Hamrlik as this guy is probably ready to play. Frees up some cash as well.

    Now send Gomez to Hamilton and we’re talking turkey (hopefully not literally) on the free agent market.

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