Whether he is 18 or 24, pro or not, it will take him some time to adjust to the NHL. There aren't many players that can come over from Russia or Europe and immediately be NHL players.
From this article it sounds like one of the biggest reasons he wants to come to play here is because of the way NHL players are treated. ie training facilities, accommodations, etc. He mentions how that isn't a guarantee in Russia for all players. From that perspective I would think that the reason he doesn't want to go to the AHL is because he's probably heard about what a big drop off it is from the NHL to AHL in terms of these kinds of incentives. In other words, he'll come for the plane, leave for the bus.
Maybe that's not what he was saying but that's what the article sounds like to me. What bothers me is he doesn't mention that he wants to play here because it's the best hockey in the world. To me that says maybe he doesn't realise that and might be in for a surprise if he ever does make it out here. It is a different game here; faster, tighter and tougher. And a lot more scrutiny.
Also, what happens to his contract if he gets sent down but wants to go to Europe? Presumably he'd be transferred to his club team in Russia and his cap hit comes off the books. Is this possible/easy to do during the season? Might be another level of bureaucracy the Habs don't want to deal with. Not to mention that is simply not the way NHL players are developed - it's not the system. Why should he be treated differently than every other prospect? Is he going to step in and be a Chris Phillips type shutdown guy? If he's a great bet for our top 4 maybe they bend a bit but otherwise they can't mess with the system just because one player doesn't want to ride the bus like every other prospect.
He'll be 25 next year. If he doesn't have the talent to make the team at that age, let him go back. If he does have the talent, and its a matter of a little adjustment, convince him that he should have a conditioning type stint of 10 games in hamilton, if he doesn't recieve a call up by a certain date, he's free to use his out clause.
You know what, your right. If he leaves it is off the books as he is in the KHL and the salary doesn't hurt the Habs cap. But, one would have to think that the KHL isn't passing out the bucks anymore to guys like Emelin as the cap there dropped last year and I'm thinking that is why Valentanko came back to North America where he is playing in the AHL still with a really young D core in New York playing already.
To those suggesting he just comes out for camp and we'll see if he makes it or not: sounds like the best option for the team but I would think Emelin would want to come with a contract. If he doesn't make it will he still be able to sign in Russia? Probably somewhere but maybe not with who he wants. He probably wants a commitment first. But then again, so does the team.
From his quotes it sounds like having certainty is important to him.
One way contracts make no different about sending him down.
Are you serious that you would give him 4.2 million dollars? The guy has never even freaking played in the NHL before.
I know, but at least the guy gets paid, and somewhat acts as a deterrent for the team.
I'm not the one who said that for the 4.2. I would offer him something for NEXT YEAR, but for this year, it's a disaster waiting to happen. I was merely completing what the other poster said (basically, offer him all we can, no other deadline moves)
cuz the season is past half over, the point was to give him a 1 way contract at a high enough price to let him play out the year to see if he is capable.
ok, so I can only offer him $3.5m with bonuses this year, I would do that, but make the bonusses so low that he achieves them.
Thing is he mentions they had no problems coming to terms over money, it was the clause. The money he'll make their vs here is likely pretty comparable, what he's worried about is getting sent down and having to ride the bus from Hamilton to Cleveland or Rochester.
And you can likely throw out the possibility of bringing him in this year. Although it would be good timing for the team as they have a spot he can fill, it would likely be too problematic politically for the NHL/KHL. I don't think the Habs are the team to rock that boat.
We should let him go back to Russia if he doesn't make the Habs but on the condition that he has to return over the North Pole with nothing but a team of Huskies and a portable DVD player and the film Snow Dogs.
I wonder if Streit had a similar kind of agreement with the Habs, maybe not written into his contract, but verbal? He had a really tough start in the league, but was kept with the big team, even when he was getting little or no ice time.