Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin underwent reconstructive surgery Tuesday to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. Recovery is expected to take six months.
Emelin was injured in an April 6 game against the Boston Bruins, depriving the Canadiens of one of their top young blueliners for the stretch run and in their five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
The 27-year-old was in his second NHL season, which finished with him compiling three goals, 12 points and a plus-2 rating in 38 games.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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