Rabid Habs

The Forum: Good-Bye Emelin

Alexei Emelin is no longer a member of your Montreal Canadiens as the Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the expansion draft. We turn to our contributors to find out what they thought of losing Alexei.

Claudio D’Andrea (@cdbytor) – Merde!

Zach Vanasse (@ZachDropsTweets) – No more Desharnais. No more Therrien. No more Emelin. I’m very excited to find out who will be on the receiving end of my ire now. For a team I have less and less confidence in, I strangely like all the players for the moment. Predictions on who our next whipping boy will be (deserved or otherwise)?

Robert Brown (@TheStandardBob) – Relief. I’m re‎relieved that we have more cap space to play with. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage by signing Markov, Radulov, Galchenyuk and then some. Don’t mess this up Bergevin! You could’ve lost Jacob De La Rose, Brandon Davidson, or – even worse – Charles Hudon. Please Bergevin, make good of this fortune.

Kyle Roussel (@KyleRoussel) – Emelin is gone and I hope his gambling instincts are better than his hockey instincts. Had some good moments with the team, but overall I’m slightly disappointed with what the Habs got from him. I wish him well in Vegas, or wherever he gets flipped to.

Who’s the whipping boy now? It’s going to be somebody, of that there is no doubt. So let’s have a fun summer exercise and think about it. Who do we love to rip on? Overpaid bozos? Check. Underperforming (or even slumping) stars? Check. Hometown players? Check. Players with supposed off-ice issues? Check check. Players with bad analytics? Check, but albeit a much smaller propeller-headed slice of fandom. Since the overpaid bozos are all gone (including Therrien), it’s hard to imagine a non-star becoming the focus of fan ire. Are we going to crush Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn? Will that solve anything? So where does that leave us?

Galchenyuk is already on the path to vilification and I expect he’ll be target 1A if he’s a Hab in October. It’s too soon for Drouin, so let’s wait until the 2018-19 season to demonize him (though all bets are off is Sergachev makes immediate impact in Tampa).

Captain Max and “Captain” Carey line up next. Both with dwindling contracts, and with huge expectations to lead this team, they’ll start hearing it sooner rather than later if they aren’t producing to their utmost capabilities. Weber will be a target forevermore, but that’s for reasons that have more to do with why he’s here rather than what he’s actually doing here.

In short, a star player is most likely to grab the undeserving title of whipping boy, and it won’t stop until he’s gone, too.

Sean O’Neill (@TheONeillFactor) – You know that feeling when you spill coffee on your 12th favourite t-shirt (that one you got for free at some corporate retreat)? When you find a quarter in your jeans? When a girl you never really liked anyways breaks up with you? When the Gin Blossoms come on the radio? When a friend invites you over for drinks but only has Coors Light? That is how I feel about the departure of Alexi Emelin.

Don`t cry because it`s over. Cry because you can`t remember a single thing about it in the first place.

Will Harte (@WillHarte) – Looks like the Habs just traded a 5th round pick in 2019 to VGK for journeyman Dave Schlemko, who by every measurement is a marked improvement at D over Emelin. So maybe MB does have a plan after all (of course he does) when it comes to the blue line. Count me, though, among those who will miss the hard-hitting, hip-checking, no-nonsense Russian (hey, I’ve been watching hockey since the ’70s, so I have different standards!). Still it was “Yeah, man!-lin” yesterday when Montreal escaped the expansion draft without losing the likes of Charles Hudon. I still don’t get how that happened. I guess anything’s possible in Vegas.
Anyhow, Bergevin holding a press conference in one hour. Stay tuned?

Dennis Kane (@DennisKane) – I’m one who appreciated what Emelin brought to the team, and I’ll miss him. His style is a dying art, the art of making oncoming forwards keep their heads up. What he lacks in some areas he makes up in others, and I never understood why so many were so hard on him. He’s one of the league’s hardest hitters, and the knock against him, mostly from opposing players, that he won’t fight is laughable. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t fight either if they had steel plates in their faces. I’ve always liked a bit of a hard hitting team, and Emelin fit the bill for me. There’s a reason why he’s in the bigs, making plenty of coin and living a fine life – because he’s a hard hitter with some presence. I hope he continues to have a long and fine career.

Ian Boisvert (@Boisvertian) – The Canadiens got to remove a $4.1 million cap hit and didn’t need to sweeten the deal for George McPhee like we saw with Anaheim or the Islanders. That’s a pretty sweet deal on its own.

McPhee apparently thinks he can flip Emelin right away, which I’m just not buying.

It also makes the Beaulieu trade make sense. If Bergevin doesn’t trade Beaulieu, McPhee probably takes him instead. Then Montreal is stuck with Emelin’s cap hit and nothing for Beaulieu. Instead, the Habs get some much needed cap space and a 3rd round pick.

Once again, Montreal has about 259 third paring defensemen with the acquisition of David Schlemko, so who knows what’s next. For now, Bergevin is doing pretty well.

Zach Vanasse (@ZachDropsTweets) – I remain convinced that cap space is still the most underrated asset in the NHL, so I like Ian’s reasoning on this one. Habs essentially traded Beaulieu and Emelin for a 3rd round pick and about $6 million in cap space (depending on what RFA Beaulieu would have cost). Considering we were guaranteed to lose one of these guys to Vegas no matter what, I’ll take it.