Habs ink Emelin to four-year, $16.4 million deal

Montreal gets their rock-solid defenseman under contract as the team begins to think about the future.

Despite the fact he has yet to play a game this season due to a knee injury, Alexei Emelin was deemed important enough by the Montreal Canadiens to get him under contract for another four seasons.

The Russian rearguard will earn $16.4 million over four years in the new deal, which is a fair price for a player who gives the team a nice physical dimension, but has dealt with injury problems.

Emelin also gives the Habs insurance if Andrei Markov, who seems older than his 34 years, is felled by injuries in the near future (or leaves the team, for that matter). Before the Emelin extension, Montreal had just one key defenseman signed long-term; Josh Gorges. Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban is coming off his famous bridge deal, while Markov himself is an unrestricted free agent.

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Given the fact the Habs are third in the Atlantic Division without Emelin, there is obvious promise with this team and the sturdy Russian will only help upon his return.