The Canadiens will be without their most physical defenseman to start the 2013-14 campaign.
Alexei Emelin — who was lost for the year in early April after tearing knee ligaments — is not expected to be available for the beginning of next season, according to the Montreal Gazette.
The Russian rearguard is still recuperating from the torn ligaments, which have yet to be repaired via surgery.
Emelin, 27, led Montreal in hits this year (with 110) despite missing the final 10 games of the regular season.
He was injured while trying to throw a hit on Boston’s Milan Lucic:
The Gazette reports that, as a result of the Emelin injury, Jarred Tinordi will start the season with the Canadiens rather than their AHL affiliate in Hamilton.
Montreal’s first-round (22nd overall) pick in 2010, Tinordi made his NHL debut this season, appearing in eight games with the Habs, notching two assists.