Habs captain Gionta might miss start of season, Emelin out ’til December

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin gave health updates on forward Brian Gionta and defenseman Alexei Emelin on Tuesday, suggesting that both could miss chunks of the season with their respective injuries.

Gionta, the club’s captain since 2010, is still recovering from a torn biceps and might not be ready for the beginning of the year, according to Bergevin.

The 34-year-old suffered the injury during Montreal’s opening-round playoff loss to Ottawa, the second time in as many years he’s torn his bicep.

Bergevin did say, however, that if Gionta isn’t ready for the beginning of the season, “it won’t be much longer than that.”

As for Emelin, he was lost for the year in early April after tearing knee ligaments in a collision with Boston’s Milan Lucic.

The 27-year-old rearguard, who led the team in hits (110) last season, underwent surgery in May, at which time it was reported he’d be facing six months of recovery.

Bergevin said he does not expect Emelin back until December “at the earliest.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Emelin progresses as the Winter Olympics draw near.

He was named to Russia’s preliminary 35-man roster back in January and is one of the country’s most physical blueliners, so his presence would be vital for the Sochi Games.

Russia was pounded in a 7-2 quarterfinal loss to Canada at the 2010 games in Vancouver. “They came like gorillas coming out of a cage,” Ilya Bryzgalov said after the loss, noting that Canada took the body early and often in the lopsided affair.

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