KHL team deny reports ex-Canadiens D Alexei Emelin requires liver transplant

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Thomas Williams
·Hockey writer
·2 min read
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Alexei Emelin was a staple on the Canadiens blueline during his tenure in Montreal. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Alexei Emelin was a staple on the Canadiens blueline during his six-year tenure in Montreal. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

KHL team Avangard Omsk has denied reports that former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin requires a liver transplant.

The team released a statement on Wednesday saying Emelin is in stable condition and undergoing examination in a Moscow hospital. 

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Several Russian media outlets reported on Tuesday that Emelin required a transplant after being diagnosed with acute liver failure.  

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Emelin reportedly felt unwell after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final of the KHL’s Gagarin Cup against Ak Bars Kazan and was taken to a local hospital with a high temperature, after which he was transferred to Moscow. Emelin was injured during the game, but would later return to the ice. 

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Avangard general manager Aleksei Volkov denied the reports on Tuesday before the team made an official statement.

“I don’t know his official diagnosis; I haven’t spoken to doctors. I just know that there is no diagnosis so far. This might have been caused by an injury, or by something else. I know that he is in critical condition and doctors apply maximum efforts to stabilize his health,” Volkov said.

Drafted 84th overall in 2004 by Montreal, the hard-nosed defenseman played 456 games in the NHL and all but one season with the Canadiens, having finished his NHL career with the Nashville Predators in 2017-18. During that time he amassed 72 points, while playing top-four minutes for the Canadiens during their playoff runs in 2014 and 2015.

He has spent the last three seasons playing for Avangard Omsk, two of those as the team’s captain.

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