New Kid On The Block

Joe Who? Joe Callahan. Sounds like a detective.

Pierre Gauthier went out and signed the 6’3″, 210 pound defenseman, (the same size as new forward Blair Betts), and does this mean Alexei Yemelin has impressed absolutely no one and is about to book a one-way ticket back to the Motherland? Or will he play in Winnipeg on Sunday and show he belongs?

I think Yemelin will stay put, play in Winnipeg, and Callahan is just insurance, a little more depth. With Chris Campoli now on the sidelines and with the possiblity of more going down because that’s what the Habs are really good at – losing defencemen – we need guys with big league experience to step in when called upon.  

Detective Callahan, if he sees any action at all, (and he may not), probably won’t figure much in any stats department. One assist and 12 penalty minutes in 27 games with Florida, and in a total of 46 games in the bigs with not only the Panthers but also with the Islanders and Sharks, he accumulated four big assists.

Of course, if he plays and he shows that he’s a big, mean son-of-a-bitch who strikes terror in oncoming forwards, then he’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

But he’s probably just another journeyman. We’ll see.

Good luck Detective Callahan.

Curious Note:

In looking up information about Alexei Yemelin, I’ve noticed that some aren’t sure about his last name. Does it begin with a “Y” or an “E”?

I’ve always said it was Yemelin, not Emelin, and, The National Post,, and Pat Hickey and Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette also say it’s Yemelin. Wikipedia has him listed as both.

HF Boards, HockeyDB, Russian Prospects, and have him as Emelin.

So I did what I had to do. I asked my Russian wife. And the definitive answer is……….it’s both. It’s just what we do in the translation process. It’s like Yevgeny and Evgeny.




17 thoughts on “New Kid On The Block”

  1. Hey Dennis , Es I guess thats how they do it in Russia,just like the french pronounce air as hair,some of them anyways.Not a big deal,people pretty much know what is being spoken of,maybe they will change next ear.

  2. Dennis, according to RDS there is no “Y” in Emelin anymore, but you still pronounce his name with the “Y” anyways. It’s just invisible.

    Just like the most of the team was last night. Invisible; and making the Leafs look invincible.

    It’s not a good thing when we’re only one game into the season and injuries are already starting to haunt us. That is why we have Callahan now.

    At 28, Joe Callahan is considered to be a career AHL’er (with only 46 games played in the NHL) so it’s doubtful we will see much of him after all the injuries get sorted out.

    But you never know. Maybe Joe Who will replace the invisible Y.

    Here’s his stats…

  3. Thanks Danno. The funny thing is, on his jersey it’s been Yemelin. And, whenever they listed him in a game lineup, had him as Yemelin. Now when I look at, they have him as Emelin. I’ve emailed Denis in St. Petersburg to get an even more definitiver answer.

  4. I’d like the Detective to find his way to the Hamilton Bulldogs and stay there. If he finds his way to the Centre Bell it means the Habs are in their hospital beds flirting with all the nurses, which is good for the nurses, bad for the wives, and disastrous for the team’s chances.

    If he does manage to find his way to Montreal, perhaps he can find a clue as to how to keep the puck on his stick long enough to put it into the back of an empty net, cause it’s looking like the forwards have misplaced their own ability to do it.

    Campoli’s on crutches and someone who watched the Brossard practice this morning has tweeted that Cammy and Price have the ‘flu. What, me bitter?

  5. Good stuff Tyg. You’re absolutely right – if the Detective is playing, it means our regualr guys aren’t. And now Price and Cammy are sick? Figures. Is it going to be another one of these years, or just October and after that smooth sailing?

  6. Dennis I think and hope Callahan is just a replacement in Hamilton for Jeff Woywitka who was taken via waiver as he was being sent down.

    From what I understand there’s no definitive way of translating from the Russian Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet that we use. Somewhere I read that his passport indicates Emelin, but he prefers Yemelin. I’m guessing because it makes it easier for us to get close to correct.

  7. Chris, whatever it says on his jersey the next time he plays is what I’m going with. I just hope he ups his game and begins to get some games in.

  8. I swear we are jinxed sometimes. Campoli just gets here and already his out with an injury. We pick up Betts and he has some kind of injury (but will play Sunday supposedly). Watch this guy get hurt in the first week he plays.

    I always felt October would be a rough month but I’m sure everything will pick up. For all we know we could go into a ten game winning streak as of Sunday.

    God I hope we ruin their party.

  9. I’m hesitant to write this since I don’t like rumours, but here goes nothing. Somewhere I read that Yemelin has an out clause in his Canadiens 2-way contract where if he can’t stick in the NHL, rather than sending him down to Hamilton the Canadiens will release him to go play in the KHL. This could be a problem if this is true and as it appears he’s just on the bubble. He needs more North American playing time to improve, but if he doesn’t improve he won’t play in the NHL.

    FYI, a story like the following is where I read about Yemelin’s name.

  10. Chris, thanks for the article link. It explains it completely. It’s also very true about the KHL thing. If he doesn’t stick with the Habs, he goes back home. For sure he needs more time to show what he can do. He’s still adjusting to North American way of life and has many things on his mind. He was a huge impact player in the KHL and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be here too. He just needs time and I hope the Habs give him that. Thanks again for the link.

  11. Yemelin’s contract says he either plays in the NHL or goes back to the KHL. If he does that he’ll never be back.

  12. My pleasure Dennis. I took the day off work and discussing the Habs is much better than my initial plan of house-cleaning.

    I agree that Yemelin should be a big impact player in the NHL, but I think he needs more than just time, practice and a few minutes every few games. I hope someone can convince him to waive his KHL clause for say, just a month. Something like how players take reconditioning stints in the AHL after an injury. Playing a lead role in Hamilton with major minutes will make him a much better player in spring when we’ll really need his toughness.

    It will also delay my other problem that I’ve been harping about. That we have too many 3rd pair defencemen on the team. It will at least be a good dilemma if both he and Diaz can leapfrog Campoli, Spacek and Weber in the pecking order. Experienced depth at defence is a big advantage at the trade dead-line.

  13. Isn’t it true that some players who are sensations in the KHL can’t adjust to the tougher North American style with smaller rinks?

    I would think this would require at least several months for the player to fully adapt.

    I hope Yemelin, (or Emelin), and the Habs can work together to help him make the transition. Hamilton may be the answer for a set period of time. God knows we can sure use his grit and clutch scoring that Denis told us about in his scouting report.

    It’s a shame there’s an out clause in Emelin’s contract which seems to completely ignore the reality of adapting to the NHL. Like Christopher says it sure would be nice if Emelin could be convinced to stick around instead of going back to Russia. But it might very well take much more than just a month for him to really be ready.

    Maybe he’d rather be a big fish in the KHL pond instead of putting in all the time and effort in the AHL with no real guarantee he’ll actually succeed.

  14. Well, Emelin gets Gorges who will take good care of him.

    Hamilton only had 6 available D left before Callahan arrived. (Nash out because he just had shoulder surgery…) Hey maybe Habs can reclaim Woywitka off waivers if the Rangers decide to send him to the Whale ;D

  15. It’s amzing, 31. Just when I think we have a glut of defensemen, we don’t. Gorges is probably a nice fit for Emelin. I’m really pulling for this Russian.

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