Something I feel you need to know, although in the big scheme of things, and to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, “Ilsa, it doesn’t take much to see that the pronounciation of several million Habs fans don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
You, me, Pierre Houde, Bob Cole, and whoever replaces Bob Cole, will spend the next ten years mispronouncing Alexei Yemelin’s name. I know we will. Most of us aren’t Russian.
It’s not “Yemelin” as it looks. It’s “Ye-MEL-in,” with a huge emphasis on the “Mel.” You have to make the ‘Mel” explode out of your mouth.
And how do I know this? I asked my Russian wife this very question just yesterday. It was “Luciena, how do you pronounce Yemelin?”
And while I was at it, I checked with her about our way of saying Markov, and it’s wrong too! It’s “MARK-uv.: Heavy on the “MARK, soft on the “ov” so it sounds like “uv.”
However, to make you feel better, we are pronouncing White, Gill, Price, Gorges, Gomez, Eller, Subban, Moen, and Cole the way they should be pronounced. And probably Pacioretty, Gionta, and Cammalleri too, but I need to ask someone who’s Italian about this. I’m also willing to bet that Weber is Weber and I’m happy to report that Lucy says we say Kostitsyn absolutely perfect.
As for Plekanec and Spacek and Budaj, it’s unknown territory.
Someone who has never heard of Jacques Martin and reads something about him somewhere might think Martin is pronounced Martin, as in Martin Short. But the majority of these people live in the Ozarks and Toronto..
And finally, when I was a truck driver and making a delivery in the Crownest’s Pass in Alberta, an older fellow and I started talking hockey. I’ve never forgotten this. He said to me, “I always liked that big Gene Bellevue.”