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Alexei Emelin signs four-year, $16.4 million extension with Canadiens

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Emelin had three goals, nine assists in 38 games last season. (USATSI)
Emelin had three goals, nine assists in 38 games last season. (USATSI)

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The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexei Emelin to a four-year contract extension on Thursday.

Emelin, who was drafted in the second round by the Canadiens in 2004, He is in the final year of his contract that carries a $2 million cap hit. He was scheduled to his unrestricted free agency before this extension.

The four-year deal is worth $16.4 million, or an annual cap hit of $4.1 million per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

It's a pretty big contract for a player who has just 105 NHL games to his credit. Indeed, Emelin has looked pretty good in his time on the ice but it's not a wealth of experience. Further complicating the issue is the fact that Emelin hasn't played a game yet this season as he's recovering from knee surgery.

"I am very pleased to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the coming years," Emelin said. "I love Montreal and I am confident that I will soon return to the ice fully recovered from my injury and contribute to the success of our team."

"We are very happy to have secured a long term agreement with Alexei," GM Marc Bergevin added. "He is an important part of our group of core players. He shows a very good work ethic and has a good attitude. He can play big minutes against the opponents' best players, and hard-hitting defensemen of his type are hard to find. We are very confident that he will fully recover from his knee injury and be able to compete at a high level for many years to come."

The contract keeps Emelin in Montreal through the 2017-18 season.

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