Emelin will not return to the Predators next season, The Tennessean reports. Knowing Ryan Ellis would miss the first half of last season with a knee injury, the Preds acquired Emelin from the Golden Knights last July to help fill the gap. However, once Ellis returned in January, Emelin went from skating 19-20 minutes per game alongside P.K. Subban to playing 14-15 minutes in a third-pairing role. Furthermore, he was mostly ineffective during the postseason and was a healthy scratch for three of the Preds' final four games against the Jets. Now a pending unrestricted free agent, the 31-year-old blueliner will look to catch on with a new team this summer.
Emelin scored one goal and pitched in eight assists in 76 games during 2017-18, while averaging 16:53 of ice time and blocking 109 shots. Although Emelin's point total was very similar to the marks he posted in Montreal, his physicality appeared to take a dip, a likely result of his decreased ice time as he averaged over 19 minutes for his old team. Emelin posted 181 hits which was the first time in three seasons he'd totaled under 300, and the 109 blocked shots were his least of any full season since his rookie campaign. The 32-year-old was also deployed in a more defensive role as he had a 57 percent start rate in his own zone, but had strong play on the third pairing as he went plus-nine on the season, a new career high. Emelin is set to be an unrestricted free agent, so he could find a new home besides Nashville for 2018-19.
Emelin (upper body) is in the lineup for Tuesday's game against Minnesota, Brooks Bratten of the Predators' official site reports. Emelin has missed Nashville's last two games due to an upper-body injury, but he was a full participant in Tuesday's morning skate, which was the first indication he'd likely be available for the Predators' matchup with Minnesota. The 31-year-old blueliner, who's notched one goal and nine points in 70 contests this season, will skate with Matt Irwin on Nashville's bottom pairing against the Wild.
Emelin -- who is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury -- took the ice for morning skate Tuesday, Brooks Bratten of the Predators' official site reports. Emelin has been sidelined for the last couple of games after logging just 9:15 of ice time last Thursday against Toronto -- likely because of the issue. The blueliner's presence at practice Tuesday suggests he could be an option for the evening's lineup against the Wild, but more information on his status for the matchup should be revealed as the day progresses.
Emelin has been averaging 20:15 in ice time over the past four games, skating on the second defensive pairing in place of the injured Roman Josi (upper body). While the bump in ice time has been nice to see from a fantasy perspective, Emelin's increased on-ice responsibility still hasn't shown up on the scoresheet. He's currently riding an excruciating 25-game pointless streak, with his last point (an assist) dating back to Jan. 6 against the Kings. Emelin's main value to the team (and fantasy owners) continues to lie primarily in the secondary stat categories such as hits and blocked shots. Providing offense will never be one of his primary objectives.
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