Habs’ Emelin signs, debuts for KHL club

After waiting on a transfer card, AK Bars Kazan finally got its man.

That was the story over the weekend as the KHL club announced the signing of — then played — Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin, a move that surely raised some eyebrows around the province of Quebec.

Emelin was originally drafted by Montreal in the third round (84th overall) of the 2004 draft, but elected to stay in Russia until last season, when he made his NHL debut at the ripe ol’ age of 25.

Despite that delayed start, Emelin impressed in Montreal by scoring 3G-4A-7PTS in 67 games while averaging over 17 minutes per contest. The Canadiens rewarded him with a two-year, $4 million contract extension in June.

But now he’s back with Bars, the club that employed him from 2007-11.

Over the weekend, Emelin debuted in a 4-2 win over Lev Praha, playing just over 16 minutes. It was a noteworthy development given the club had to wait on Emelin’s transfer card (he’d been linked to Bars for a while) before playing him and, curiously, he’s the only lockout signing made by Kazan thus far.

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