Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin said he's "confident" he'll return soon from offseason knee surgery. (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed defenseman Alexei Emelin to a four-year extension, according to a press release issued by the team on Thursday. Although the amount wasn't immediately disclosed by the organization,ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tweeted the deal is for $16.4 million -- a $4.1 million cap hit annually for the Canadiens -- over the four years.
The 27-year-old Russian, who had 12 points in 38 games last season, is currently on the injured reserve for Montreal as he continues to rehab the knee surgery he underwent during the offseason. He said via the press release that he's "confident" he will return soon and is excited to be a part of the organization for years to come.
“I am very pleased to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the coming years. 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."
Habs General Manager Marc Bergevin said in Thursday's announcement that he expects Emelin, who averaged 19 minutes per game last season, to play even more when he returns from rehab and expects him to perform at a high level for many years.
"We are very happy to have secured a long term agreement with Alexei. 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."