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KHL’s Facebook page reports that Red Wings RFA-to-be Emmerton’s signed with KHL team

Via RedWingsFeed, Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford reports that Red Wings restricted free agent-to-be Cory Emmerton plans on re-starting his pro hockey career at the site of the 2014 Olympic games:

Emmerton, who appeared in 139 games over four years with Detroit, has reportedly signed on with Sochinskiye Leopardy — one of the new KHL expansion clubs that will begin play this season in the Winter Olympic host city of Sochi (see here and here for reports of Emmerton’s deal).

"Here and here" = the KHL's Facebook page and a Tweet from Sports.ru's Igor Eronko, with the KHL's Facebook page stating that Emmerton has signed a one-year deal.

The 41st overall pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Emmerton has his best campaign with the Wings in 2011-12, appearing in 71 games while scoring a career-high six goals and 10 points. Just 23 at the time, Emmerton looked as though he’d be a regular contributor for the Wings — especially after he played in all 48 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — but slowly lost his grip on regular minutes last year and spent most of this season with AHL Grand Rapids (where he played well, scoring 46 points in 53 games).

The Red Wings can retain Emmerton's rights by tendering him a qualifying offer, but if they decline to do so, they can simply allow Emmerton to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan weighs in:

Emmerton, 25, is a restricted free agent. The Red Wings can retain his NHL rights by making him a qualifying offer, but it became apparent this past season that he doesn't have a future in the organization.

Emmerton cleared waivers twice, just before the start of the season and on Feb. 2. He appeared in 18 games for the Red Wings (no goals, two assists, minus-2 rating), being recalled several times as an injury replacement. He had 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 53 games for the Griffins and added nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 10 playoff games.

Emmerton was the Red Wings' regular fourth-line center the previous two seasons but others (Joakim Andersson, Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan) moved ahead of him on the depth chart.

The Red Wings selected Emmerton with the 41st pick (second round) in 2006. He had 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 139 games for the club.

The Leopards are an expansion team that will play in the host city of this year's Winter Olympics.

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Comments

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Good for Cory, always seemed like a good guy, but there isn’t a space for him on this team.  I wish him the best, and hopefully he can play himself back onto an NHL roster someday.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 05/23/14 at 11:41 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Sochi is at least not in northern tundra nor Ukraine.
If he’s a single guy I’m sure he’ll enjoy the beach and ladies and especially the tax free bag of money pay he’ll get for the KHL.
Just don’t say anything bad about Putin and I’m sure he’ll be fine.
zipper

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 05/24/14 at 07:29 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.