Habprospects.com: RSL Season Starts for Emelin and Perezhogin

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    Habster’s take:

    As a Habs fan, I was frustrated and disappointed that Alexei Emelin and/or his Russian agent( as some Russian media outlets have reported) decided to sign a 2 year contract with AK Bars of the RSL instead of starting his NHL/AHL career with the Canadiens. Emelin’s North American agent, Todd Diamond appeared to have a deal set with the Canadiens but was unaware that Emelin’s Russian agent had negotiated another deal with AK Bars Kazan of the RSL. Diamond told Team 990’s Tony Marinaro on June 18th, 2007 that he and Canadiens management were caught off guard when they found out about the deal with AK Bars Kazan. It would appear Alexei Emelin is not too eager to start his career with the Habs or at least not yet. AK Bars has been known to throw millions of dollars at their Russian players which may be the case here.
    It’s a shame Emelin will not play here as he is NHL ready and his development will be slowed as the Russian Super League is not as physical as the NHL which is the style that Emelin plays. It would also be beneficial for Emelin to acclimatize himself with the North American rink size.

    As far as the Habs Belarusian players (Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn, Mikhail Grabovski), they have played great at the Belarus Cup and will be ready for this year’s training camp. Andrei Kostitsyn should make a Canadiens roster in need of goal scorers while Grabovski has an outside chance to win a roster spot with a strong camp. Sergei Kostitsyn is probably the most versatile of the three but would have to beat out one of the bottom six forwards( Begin, Lapierre, Smolinski, Kostopoulos, Lahti and possibly Chipchura) to make the roster which is possible.