Habs’ Emelin to have hearing for hit on Gionta


Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will have a hearing Saturday for his hit on Sabres’ forward Brian Gionta Friday night.

Emelin received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head on this play:

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, Emelin’s hearing will take place at 1 p.m. ET this afternoon.

Lavoie adds Emelin likely won’t be in Montreal’s lineup tonight when Buffalo visits Montreal.

Sabres coach blasts Habs’ Emelin over head hit to Gionta


The Buffalo Sabres had a worrying moment late in the third period Friday night when captain Brian Gionta absorbed a hit to the head from Montreal’s Alexei Emelin.

You can see that incident below:

Emelin got a two minute minor for his actions. In addition to Gionta being active in the aftermath of the hit, he also took another shift before the contest ended so he’s presumably fine.

“Those could be career-ending hits, so we’ll see what the league does with that,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, per the Sabres’ website.

Montreal and Buffalo will play again Saturday night, so if the league does want to offer any supplemental discipline, it will have to do so swiftly. Regardless of what the league decides, that incident cost Montreal as Buffalo scored an odd goal on the ensuing power play to win the contest:

Video: St. Louis picks the pocket of Emelin

The New York Rangers entered Sunday’s game on three days rest while the Montreal Canadiens are playing in the second of back-to-back games tonight at MSG.

In the second period it showed as Martin St. Louis picked the pocket of Habs’ defenseman Alexei Emelin and beat Dustin Tokarski top shelf for his eighth of the season.

St. Louis has a goal and an assist tonight. He is now two points shy of 1,000 for his career.

After acquiring Gonchar, Habs send Tinordi to minors

Montreal had a surplus of bodies on defense — too many cooks, if you will — following yesterday’s Sergei Gonchar-for-Travis Moen trade so, on Wednesday, it sent Jarred Tinordi down to AHL Hamilton.

Tinordi, the club’s first-round pick (22nd overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in nine games this season, notching two assists while averaging just over 12 minutes per night.

The 6-foot-6, 227-pounder was sent to Hamilton while another of Montreal’s young blueliners, Nathan Beaulieu, remained with the club; as a result, the Habs will now carry Gonchar, Beaulieu, P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Mike Weaver and Tom Gilbert as their seven defensemen.


Trade: Montreal acquires Gonchar from Dallas for Moen


The Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens have teammed for a relatively large move — the Stars have sent veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Habs in exchange for checking forward Travis Moen.

For Montreal, Gonchar could be looked upon to spark the club’s woeful power play. It’s the third-worst unit in the NHL at 7.7 percent and Gonchar, while getting on in age, is still a quality puck-mover with offensive ability. The move with also reunites him with head coach Michel Therrien — the two spent four seasons together in Pittsburgh — and gives the Canadiens three Russians on defense (along with Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin.)

For Dallas, Moen brings physicality and grittiness to a team mired in a seven-game losing streak, and has extensive experience playing in the Western Conference from his time with Chicago, San Jose and Anaheim (helping the latter to a Stanley Cup in 2007).

“Travis is a proven forward that does all the gritty things needed to win,” Stars GM Jim Nill said in a release. “He brings leadership and experience to our forward group and will be an important part of our penalty kill.”

It’s also worth noting Dallas reportedly tried to deal Gonchar this summer, per Morning-News scribe Mike Heika:

I was almost 100 percent sure that [Stars GM] Jim Nill would find a way to move Sergei Gonchar before the summer was over, but it looks like that could be more difficult than I imagined.

Even with the team willing to eat half of his $5 million salary (the maximum allowed under the new CBA), the Stars could not find a trade partner for the 40-year-old defenseman.

Speaking of eating salary, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Dallas will retain eight percent of Gonchar’s salary in the Montreal deal.


In the end, this deal may have simply been about Dallas looking to get out from under the Gonchar contract. It was one of Nill’s first big moves after taking the GM gig and, eventually, proved to be arguably his worst; hopes were high the 40-year-old Russian could come in and provide a stabilizing presence on Dallas’ back end, but it never came to be.

Speaking of contracts, it’s worth noting that Moen has this season and the next remaining on his four-year, $7.4 million deal — one that carries a $1.85M annual cap hit.

Gonchar, meanwhile, will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.