Looking back at the Alexei Emelin contract
Rewind back to April 6th 2013 Alexei Emelin goes for a big hit on Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic and ends up receiving the worst of that collision that can be seen below.
Emelin was having a solid season and was looking more and more comfortable and was starting to hit his stride each and every game until that disastrous moment. News came out that he had torn a ligament in his left knee and would miss the remainder of the season leaving a gaping hole on the Canadiens blue-line.
GM Marc Bergevin decided to lock up Emelin to a 4 year deal worth $4.1 million per season even before playing a single game this season. It was definitely a risk signing but maybe a rushed signing knowing P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov were going to be a more difficult negotiation and only having one defenceman Josh Gorges signed beyond this year.
After going through a successful surgery and a long road to recovery Alexei Emelin makes his return to the Habs lineup on November 16th 2013 were he played 16:04 and looked alright. Emelin’s play during the next couple of months gradually started dipping and was looking more and more like a bottom six defenceman and not a top four which was expected from the Habs coaching staff. He became a healthy scratch a couple of times and was benched more than once by Michel Therrien. Emelin’s play has been up and down all season and has not been the same impact player as he was last season before his injury. Another note to add is that Therrien has been playing Emelin on his off-side all season paired with Andrei Markov and he hasn’t adjusted very well to that change, a contributing factor to his defensive woes.
Alexei Emelin’s new four year deal does not kick in until next year and is still only making $2 million this season. I think we can cut him some slack this season, but going in to next year Emelin has to improve his game greatly to help bolster Montreal’s defense line.