Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Habs set to ink Emelin

Marc de Foy broke the story that everyone in Montreal is now talking about: the Canadiens will shortly announce the signing of Alexei Emelin.

Many readers probably just went: Alexei who?

Emelin was Drafted in the third round of the 2004 entry draft, and every scouting report or article I’ve ever read says the 25 year old has the skills to step in and make a difference now. After a few years of KHL experience, I would expect Emelin to slot in as a third or fourth defenceman. He brings the same type of physical, gritty game as Roman Hamrlik, except for two important factors: 1) he presumably costs much, much less and 2) he is, in fact, faster than an elderly turtle. I have previously heard analysts compare him to former NHLer Danny Markov.

As previously mentioned I will soon be writing my off-season thoughts/plans for the Habs, and this will certainly factor in. The Canadiens had a logjam at defence before the signing, and they now have a small village of defencemen. Expect names like Wiskniewski, Mara and (fingers crossed) Spacek to be a distant memory next season.

For now, we know Emelin is on the way, and he traditionally sports #74. Welcome to Montreal, Al.

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Comments

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I can understand the expectation of Mara and Spacek being gonzo, but the Wiz?

Is it more about what he is going to expect as salary, or something else. Because I am really impressed with Wiz, and actually have been for some time. Quiety put up 51pts this eyar from the back-end.

What are your thoughts? Is he going to cost too much?

Posted by Deaner from Ontario on 05/11/11 at 02:33 PM ET

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Wisniewski - purely an economic decision. He was a solid addition, posted a positive +/-, and he generally plays solid defence on top of his offensive skills. I really like the guy. However, he had 51 points, and in today’s market - unless your name is Marc-Andre Bergeron - that sort of output commands top dollar. There is just no way the Habs can allocate the funds to him and Markov, and despite the injuries I feel Markov is a stronger player. If, however, the Canadiens figured out how to dump, say, Scott Gomez, then it becomes a possibility. But only if something drastic like that were to take place.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 05/11/11 at 07:15 PM ET

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The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

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