Andrei Markov Will Not Return To Montreal Canadiens, Headed to KHL

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Andrei Markov will not return to the Montreal Canadiens for the 2017-18 season. The team made the announcement on their twitter account this morning. The 38-year-old Unrestricted free agent will hold a conference call with the media at 2:00 pm EST today. Markov was reportedly looking for a two-year $12 million deal from the Habs, but general manager Marc Bergevin was not prepared to offer more than one year. His cap hit was $5.75 million last year.

The Canadiens signed defencemen Karl Alzner, Jakub Jerabek and Mark Streit as free agents this off-season, and traded for defenceman David Schlemko.

Update: Andrei Markov has said in his conference call that he will head to the KHL. He will be eligible to play for Russia in the 2018 Olympics.

Andrei Markov Will Not Return To Montreal Canadiens

Markov has been a staple for the Montreal Canadiens for the past 16 years. His rookie season came two years after he was drafted, in the 2000-01 season. In that year he had 23 points in 63 games. His next year he had 24 points in even less, 56, games. Since then he’s continued to tally up the points. He’s had seven seasons of at least 40 points, including three seasons of 50 or more points. All this production while also being a great player in the defensive zone.

Markov was the Habs second best defenceman last season. However, with his age, his minutes were managed a bit more last year, as he played about 23:30 per game for the Habs.

Markov was one of the oldest players to hit the open market this off-season. There are only five players older than Markov who are freshly entering the market. He still has quite a bit in the tank though, as he was a valuable contributor to the Canadiens last year. It remains to be seen if/where Markov will play next season.

This is a big loss for the Habs, as Markov is still an elite defenseman even at his age, and could easily put up another strong season. He can be an excellent addition on the powerplay with the skills and vision to quarterback things from the point.

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Gabriel Foley is the St. Louis Blues team manager, and covers the NHL in it's entirety. He's also a 17-year old hockey player in Illinois. Want to get on-the-fly NHL updates and opinions? Follow Gabe on Twitter @GabrielMgFoley!