Andrei Markov headed to KHL after failing to reach deal with the Canadiens


Andrei Markov will not return to the Canadiens for the 2017-18 NHL season.

The Canadiens announced on Thursday morning that the veteran, free-agent defenceman won’t be back with the club. During a 2 p.m. conference call, Markov announced he will be heading to Russia with his family to play in the KHL. He knows which team he will be playing for, but wouldn’t announce it since he has yet to sign a contract. Markov also said he’s hoping to play for Russia in next year’s Olympic Games.

On Friday morning, KHL reporter Alvis Kalnins reported on Twitter that Markov has come to terms on a two-year deal with AkBars Kazan.

While there were reports that Markov was looking for a two-year deal worth US$12 million — he admitted on the conference call he originally wanted two years — the defenceman said he was willing to sign a one-year contract with the Canadiens. Markov added that he couldn’t imagine wearing another jersey in the NHL and that moving back to Russia was the best thing for his family rather than having to adjust to a new city in North America. Markov had earned an average of $5.75 million in each of the last 10 seasons.

Markov married Sonya Sonechka earlier this month in Russia. They have a one-year-old daughter, Vasilisa, together. Markov’s ex-wife, Natalia Streckova, died from ovarian cancer last year. Markov and Streckova had twin boys together, Andrei and Mark. After Streckova died, Markov brought the 5-year-old boys from Russia to live with him and Sonechka in Montreal. Markov also has an older son who lives in Russia.

Now, the entire Markov family will be in Russia.

Before answering questions from reporters on the conference call, Markov made an opening statement.

“Bonjour, everyone,” he said. “I’ve never been nervous that way … even on my wedding day I wasn’t nervous that much. Today I had to make a very difficult decision in the past days. As you know, I will not be back with the Canadiens next season.

“For the past 16 years I was proudly wearing the Habs jersey. Each and every day I realized how lucky I was to be part of such a great hockey organization. A lot of history was made here and just to be part of it was something special. My dream was always to win the Stanley Cup and bring it to Montreal. I just can’t imagine how it would feel. I guess now it’s time to move on.

“It is sad for me to leave,” Markov continued. “This organization was a big part of my life and always will be, but now I’m looking forward to new opportunities. They say that if one door closes, two others will open. Today I just want to say thank you to Mr. Molson and to the Montreal organization for giving me the opportunity to play for the greatest hockey franchise in the history of the game.”

Markov also thanked his coaches, teammates, trainers, and staff members with the Canadiens. He also thanked the fans.

“Last, but not least, I want to thank all the fans who supported me for the past 16 years, people who made me feel welcome in Montreal,” he said. “I will never forget it for the rest of my life. This city will always be special for me. I wish the Canadiens and their fans all the best in the future. I’m sad to leave, but I guess it is the time.”

Canadiens president and owner Geoff Molson released a one-paragraph statement after the news was announced in the morning that Markov wouldn’t be returning to Montreal.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Andrei for his great contributions during his 16 seasons as a proud member of the Montreal Canadiens,” Molson said. “Arguably one of the best defencemen in franchise history, Andrei was a model of dedication to the great game of hockey. A respected figure around the league and among his teammates, Andrei demonstrated leadership both on and off the ice. Andrei’s commitment to our franchise was second to none, proven by his overcoming three serious and potentially career-ending injuries. I would like to wish Andrei the best of luck in the next step of his career, and happiness with his family.” 

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

Markov, 38, has spent the last 16 seasons with the Canadiens after being selected in the sixth round (162nd overall) at the 1998 NHL Draft. With 572 career points, Markov is tied for second with Guy Lapointe on the all-time list for Canadiens defencemen, trailing Larry Robinson’s 833. Markov leaves the Canadiens only 10 games short of the 1,000 mark for his regular-season career.

On Tuesday, the Canadiens signed veteran free-agent defenceman Mark Streit to a one-year deal worth US$700,000, which seemed like a sign Markov wouldn’t be back in Montreal.



Sergei Berezin, Markov’s longtime friend, trainer and adviser, posted a photo on his Facebook page Thursday of Markov wearing a Canadiens practice sweater during an on-ice workout Wednesday in Florida, writing: “Wearing big CH for the last time last night. Sad to see you leave, brother… the future is bright… always respect… always proud.”

Markov made it clear after last season how much he wanted to return to the Canadiens and finish his career in Montreal.

“My first option’s going to be in Montreal … I’d like to stay here,” Markov said at the time. “I’ve always been here and most probably I’d like to finish my career here. So we’ll see what’s going to happen in the summer. … My family likes the city and I love the city.

“I’d like to stay for the rest of my life,” he added.

That won’t happen now.

(Photo: Allen McInnis/Montreal Gazette)

• It appears unlikely Markov will return to Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

• Streit is a good signing for Canadiens, by Stu Cowan

• We watched Markov’s pop-music video so you won’t have to, by Christopher Curtis

• Dwight King could be headed to KHL,


  1. berc says:

    Have been in the woods for a few days without internet, and the sky falls in. Last time I was incommunicado, I went into the bush and Nixon was President and came out and Ford had taken over. Now the season’s success hinges in part on Jerabek’s performance. I do not think that he will disappoint. Habs should have given Markov what he wanted. Silly to have lost him in this manner. He was worth what he was asking.

  2. G00SE says:

    Sad to see him go for the human side and as a fan BUT…..maybe give a chance to the younger players.

  3. Bun E. Laroque says:

    Markov definitely the coolest Hab in more ways than one. He will be missed. And its hard not to be sentimental. But out with the old and in with the new. This team has made some changes and the chemistry will be different. This could be good.

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Perhaps a drink? 🙂 Maybe a couple?

      I love my Habs as much as the next guy, but it’s not healthy to tie our mood to a team we have no control over…(funny, eh? Coming from me…)

      I think Luke nailed it earlier today. Who knows what happened between MB and Marky, how far apart or close they were to agreeing to a one year deal…

      Regardless, we criticize the moves because we think the results that follow will warrant it. But we don’t know how the season will play out yet, or if MB is even done making moves…

      Have a drink, I doubt MB is done yet.

  4. GMMB= disingenuous, lying, deflective, hypocrite.

    His mantra – character, play the right way, grit, depth, defense wins championships…

    Likelihood of Stanley Cup coming to Montreal while employed by the Habs= 0%

  5. sammymaudlin says:

    So maybe this is Julien’s way of giving Markov sheltered minutes. He can play in the KHL until the olympics, then sign with Montreal at the deadline. He’ll be fresh and ready for the playoffs!

  6. zak says:

    How much did they spend on the two guys ( Streit, Alzner) to replace him. MB wasn’t going to bring him back. Habs don’t make the playoffs IMO

  7. RightNyder says:

    Anyone from Winnipeg able to fill us in on the Hustler and Rick Ralph show today?

    OPP, maybe you could expand your daily reports…

  8. adamkennelly says:

    next question – what are the Habs options to spend say $6M of the remaining cap space to ice a decent team this year.

    I “imagine” MB was waiting to see how things panned out before signing Markov – see if the new guys could hang. I don’t like it – 1 year – sign and done…its a business but one clearly MB has no desire to win at – just sell more tickets, beers, shirts, etc.

  9. Arnold 56-79 says:

    I’ll preface my thoughts by saying I haven’t read any comments yet, just glanced at the TSN story. Sorry if my points have been reiterated already

    Off the top of my head I think this situation is a decent compromise for Markov and Habs history.

    Family over a reduced NHL income for him. He’ll make less overall probably, but gain in personal and family solidarity and bonding. Especially with displaced young kids. A huge NHL salary may have allowed other arrangements in terms of travel and accommodation but obviously there was a minimum that he felt wasn’t acceptable.

    Less pressure hockey wise for him and a comfortable way to ease into retirement. With the Olympics as a bonus. But the door may still be open for a one or even two year return to the NHL after this season. If his workload is less intense he. can preserve his health and conserve his skills. Maybe not in Montreal, but by then the Habs will have moved on. Or, maybe he returns. Even if just to play the few games left to reach a thousand and then retire. Possibly fill a coaching role. Depends on his choice of countries and lifestyle

    Historically, he remains a rare ‘pure Hab’ with over a dozen seasons with only the same team. Unless he returns and signs elsewhere.

    In the present tense the Habs lose a solid asset. Degraded since his prime but still better than average. I guess quantity will have to provide quality via competition. A solid 2/3 defenseman will be hard to acquire during this offseason but Azner is an upgrade over last season’s 4 to 7 depth, and he should move up in the pecking order. Streit will have to produce on the power play and the 5 to 8 rotation will have to compensate with safe play and useful minutes.

    All legends and stars eventually make their exit. Not a storybook way to go but not ugly either.

  10. NLHAB says:

    F —- off Bergeron and Molson…..Subban and now Markov…..can you not do anymore to alienate the fan base ? Crazy

  11. pmaraw says:

    The Russian purge is complete

  12. The Gumper says:

    So, Marky heads over and makes some decent bank from a bottom feeding club (so as not to make the playoffs) in the Krap League. In the meantime, we sheet Draisaitl to ensure that we are buyers prior to the trade deadline. Marky gets a boo-boo with a week to go in the Krap League season…
    We repatriate him for chump change, he gets his 1,000th game in, we win the Cup, Marky retires a Hab and we retire his jersey… Smart like Traktor…

    • RightNyder says:

      Would Markov have to be signed to an NHL contract before the trade deadline to be eligible for the playoffs?

      • The Gumper says:


        • RightNyder says:

          I actually don’t know, so I was asking.

          That scenario (KHL playoffs end April 15) was mentioned below (OPP will claim he thought of it before anyone, anywhere in the world).

          Could Markov finish his season there and come back? If so, what would the deadline be?

          • bwoar says:

            Fairly certain that after Jan 1 the player has to clear waivers if they’ve played professionally.

          • The Gumper says:

            I dunno, I never took myself seriously enough to check.
            The Krap League wraps up their regular season the week of March 1st which coincides with the trade deadline hence the boo-boo angle for fananglein purposes.
            We may have to get Lou Lamoriello involved…

          • The Gumper says:

            Thanks Bwoar… (stoopid facts)….

  13. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    So there is the cynical side, saying he wasn’t offered enough for the one year.
    And there is the Olympics argument – it would be a good year for the Russians to win gold, what with the NHL disgracing itself by not freeing the players to represent their countries.
    At 39, with money in the bank, maybe there is something more important than one more NHL season?
    I’m a fan of smart players like Markov, and if he is on the Olympic team (he will be barring injury) then I will watch those games. They may be more interesting than the All Star spectacular. The Olympics will give him one last chance to shine on his national stage – it may actually matter more than money to some people.
    It is going to hurt the Habs though.

    Can I dislike Bettman here?

  14. haberoo13 says:

    MB plan: Carey, Carey, Carey
    MB if Carey gets hurt: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses


    • RightNyder says:

      So, you’re saying it’s 2012 and 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and 2016 and 2017 all over again?

      Thumbs up for never deviating from your plan, I guess.

      • haberoo13 says:

        Carey made very rich men of the Foxhole gang

        MAAAA!!!! THE MEATLOAF!!!!!

        • RightNyder says:

          Perhaps this was mentioned by Price’s agent during negotiations…

          MB: “OK, OK. Here’s a blank cheque, Mr. Johansson. Fill in what you think is fair.”

          Kind of like Andre Dawson turned inside out.

  15. New says:

    My favorite Markov moment was when he had been out the last time with that knee. Finally he got clearance to work out with the team and the cameras were on when he came back to the room.

    There was kit all over his bench. He sternly looked at a grinning PK and said “Get your #@!! out of my space.”

    Things turned around for the Habs then. They had already squandered the year but with Markov back at least they played respectable the rest of the way.

    I wonder what happens now?

    Who is first overall next draft? Any good? Anyone know?

  16. Gerry H says:

    I really don’t get this from the organisation’s perspective. With $9 million in cap space and 22 of 23 roster spots filled, why not give Markov $5-6 million for one year? I totally understand that the math gets nuts next year, but who are they gonna get with that $9 million at this stage? Even with $6 million to Markov, they would have lots of room for a big splash at the deadline.

    I can only hope this means they are gunning for a marquee player in a trade, this year. Otherwise, the hole left by Markov’s absence is going to make that cap space look like a fool’s bargain.

    • Stewpot says:

      You read my mind.

      If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

    • on2ndthought says:

      I imagine Bergevin had a price point for a known commodity. I’m guessing Markov would have accepted a two year deal, but during an Olympic year decided the one year deal in Russia was more appealing. Fewer games, probably less physical toll (especially for an icon); and a real good chance at Olympic gold.

      Nothing wrong with that from Markov’s side, nor from Bergevin’s.

      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  17. DipsyDoodler says:

    Slightly off topic. NFL Lineman John Urschel retired from football. It is apparently related to the concussion study that was just cited in the NY Times (110/111 brains showing CTE).

    Interesting facts here:

    1. Urschel is doing a PhD in math and artificial intelligence at MIT. (He was also in that Bose commercial).
    2. He stands to earn more from AI than from football – if he’s really good and goes to work for google or something.
    3. His career earnings from football are surprisingly low ($1.5M over three years). Risking your brain for $500,000/yr is a bad deal.


    • on2ndthought says:

      Good for him. I like how he said football came back before math did (after a concussion). Besides, anything that hurts the Ravens is fine by this Bengals fan.

      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • Le Revenant says:

      Slotted rookie contracts dictated by a Collective Bargaining Agreement are a good idea in theory, they were meant to ensure rookies earned their stripes before they hit the jackpot, and eliminate holdouts, but this is one unintended aspect. When a bright kid can earn more being a doctor or Wall Street trader, and has to decide if he can wait out the four-year rookie contract, and maybe risk that a team will fifth-year option him, maybe the kid pulls up stakes after a season and says “Thanks, but this isn’t for me.”

      San Francisco rookie linebacker Chris Borland was similarly slotted into a third-round rookie contract, and after one NFL season and at least one concussion, thought about it and decided he’d achieved his dream, he’d played Division 1 football and played on the big stage. If he continued though, he’d have to risk his health, since as he stated, for him to be successful, as an undersized linebacker, he had to play a kamikaze hard-hitting style, which was his calling card. So he retired after one season with the 49’ers, although they were planning to keep him around for much longer.

  18. haberoo13 says:

    Radulov….not loyal
    Markov…it’s a business
    MB is a bottom 2 GM..oh wait Milbury is nota Gm anymore


    • sakuknows says:

      MB is definitely not the worst. But what is he doing to make us a contender? He should be measured on those merits alone, not compared to peers. I couldn’t care less where he ranks if he’s making us a team that can year in and out challenge for a cup. He isn’t. He shouldn’t have a job here. SIGH!

  19. Desi says:

    It seems like when MB makes his mind up about somebody there’s no changing it. Time will tell, but unless he does something else to shore up our defense this year (or radically upgrade our offense from where it stands now) I have to believe that keeping Markov for another year would have been a very good idea. I like the thought that he might return to the Habs at some point, whether at the trade deadline or next season. But my guess is that MB just doesn’t want him around anymore and that we’ve seen the last of number 79.

  20. prep says:

    So ,,,,,, no number one center and you can argue no number two center… And no puck moving defenseman. habs did have a puck moving d ,,,twice…. Did have a number one center man then beat his confidence to the ground .. and the number two center grabbed his lunch, bags and ticket to the third line once he signed a 12 Mill 2 year deal …

  21. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Markov’s gone. I’m good with it.

    How many times has HIO bellowed that MB gave Emelin, Pleks, DD, etc. too much and for too long? How many times have posters bemoaned the lack of playing and development time for the youngsters? Even if you don’t believe that Jerabek is the answer, with the cap space MB has, and plenty of time before camp opens, who’s to say what the roster will look like by the season opener?

    If Markov signed for $6M, even for one year, I could see HIO saying MB has just papered over the hole beside Weber, that Markov’s legs might fall off anytime now, and blowing the cap space on Marky when there are still gaping holes at 1C and 2C is just plain stupid.

    See ya Marky. Go get some goals MB.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Most people would have accepted Markov on a one year deal IMO; especially with the cap space they have. It was the term most posters were against. Even though his last two playoff performances have been underwhelming, Markov ALWAYS put up regular season numbers. With Alzner here he would have played ZERO PK so his “hard” minutes would have been lower. At worst he would have played on the 3rd pairing with PP time. In the short term, this team is worse without him unless Jerk surprises.

      • Le Revenant says:

        Yep. I wonder if this isn’t going to be a Pyrrhic victory, where Marc Bergevin draws a line in the sand, shows players and agents that a final offer is a final offer, but which will seriously weaken the team for this season at least.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          We have to see the negotiation numbers to know for sure. Obvious example is the Rads case where it was shown that he wanted as much $$$ as possible.

        • Loop_G says:

          I’m wondering if he was maybe developing, or thought he was developing a reputation for being a bit soft, giving too much money for too much time and felt like he had to make a statement this year.

    • RightNyder says:

      I’m OK with it, too.
      Provided that cap space is put to good use.

      If not, jettisoning a dude, however fossilized, who’s still better than seven of your eight defencemen, is surely reason for measured debate.

      Or calling the GM a dapper feces-flinger.

    • Desi says:

      If the tradeoff was losing Markov in order to add some goal-scoring up front, it might be one I could stomach. But I just don’t see it happening. We have too little to trade, and the free agent market has dried up.

  22. Le Revenant says:

    Stu Cowan did a good job reminiscing about Tim Raines and the Expos.

    Matt Sekeres, after the interview: “Did you catch that from Stu? How the Expos were the most popular team in Montréal for a while there, since the Canadiens ‘hadn’t won a Stanley Cup in a while, since 1979’? Those poor souls, having to go from 1979 to 1986 without a Cup, having to wait seven years…”

    « Il m’a cross-checké, je l’ai cross-checké. Il m’a ensuite dit : “Sais-tu qui je suis?” Je lui ai répondu: “Je ne sais pas qui tu es, mais si tu veux savoir qui je suis, on peut y aller”. Il n’a pas jeté les gants et ç’a fini là. » –Bokondji Imama

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Did he mention Subban?


      • Le Revenant says:

        The ‘under’ won. Stu couched it as the Canadiens “getting rid of P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu and Mikhail Sergachev”.

        If you trade a player in return of another or a draft pick, or if you lose him in an expansion draft, I think it’s stated wrongly. The Canadiens got rid of Scott Gomez and P.A. Parenteau when they bought them out. You can argue that the Canadiens got rid of Devante Smith-Pelly, unloading him for another longshot bruising winger in Stefan Matteau.

        But the Canadiens didn’t get rid of P.K. Subban. They did choose to trade him away, they had reasons to do so, but they got something in return, they didn’t just throw him in the garbage.

    • RightNyder says:

      I for one enjoy you constantly updating the many folks who don’t live in the Lower Mainland about every wordfart that comes out of the TSN 1040 crew.

      • Le Revenant says:

        Am I sensing a tone? Because my feathers aren’t ruffled, I thought this was our shtick, a perspicacious Posi-Troll squaring off against a nattering Nelly.

        If I’ve scored too many points in a row, I can let you have a couple in the next few days. I’m used to it, I’ve been spending time with the nephews, letting them win once or twice here and there.

        • RightNyder says:

          Always just shtick, mere amusement.

          Plus, they all know your posts are strictly for your own self-gratification. Every so often, I get bored and point it out.

          As mentioned, without your lightning bolt, it’s harder to skim on past and I get lured in sometimes.

          • Le Revenant says:

            I am thinking long and hard on this one. I do want the distinct avatar that will provide me with inviolability on this issue, that ifs yous don’t likes it, yous can always skips over my posts. Your incessant caterwauling on how Leo’s image as the Revenant doesn’t cut the mustard on this has registered as a not completely ludicrous point.

            Maybe if we stink up the joint during the season and it becomes obvious we should go with it, adopt a long-term view and trade away assets, assist the descent in the standings so as to optimize our draft position, I’ll go back to this one:


          • RightNyder says:

            “Has registered as a not completely ludicrous point.”

            Well, if that’s not the highest of praise from the king himself, I don’t know what is.

            My entire off-season is made. Thanks, OPP!

            Also, will you take back your glowing acknowledgment of my skills if I admit that, until you just mentioned it, I had zero idea who was in your avatar? I just see a black blob on my old Commodore 64. That’s why I needed the bolt so bad…

      • on2ndthought says:

        Well done, Gazoo. You’ve certainly put that UCE fella in his place.

        “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

        • RightNyder says:

          Hard to feel good about piling on a guy who lives in his mom’s tent trailer and posts from the library while listening to TSN 1040 on his transistor radio.

  23. Don Birnam says:

    So, Marky gets some tax free $U.S. In the Motherland because no GM on this side of the pond would bite?
    Good for him and good for Marc telling him to “Pound Sand”.

    Viva Timo Libre!

    • 100HABS says:

      I don’t think he considered offers from other NHL teams. This was Habs or KHL. I can’t believe they couldn’t make it work, this really sucks to me.

      To me, this hurts more than losing Subban, at least we got a great player for him. Here, we just lost a heart-and-soul guy, power-play specialist, smart defenseman, and got nothing.

  24. 24 Cups says:

    Apron Basu’s quotes leads to two questions – why couldn’t Montreal sign Markov if he agreed to a one year term and is there any validity to the notion that MB told Markov he would have to wait until Sept or Oct before the Habs would consider signing him?

  25. RightNyder says:

    Forum Dog brings up a good point.

    While Junior Mints and Co. are thrilled with 100 points and a division title flag, will what so far amounts to wheel-spinning be enough again if other teams are on an upward arc?

    I see Tampa as being improved. Loafs as well. Certainly the Sabres, although they’re not that scary yet. Broons and Sens will still be solid, who knows about the cheapskate Panthers and the Dead Things will keep sucking.

    What will be most intriguing for me early next year will be the team’s start.

    Say what you want about the harrumphing mango shytgibbon (and we’ve said almost everything there is to say), his teams generally got out of the gate quickly.

    If we’re .500 after 20 games, is the panic beard already down to MB’s knees?

    • Le Revenant says:

      Stop plagiarizing my posts, Gazoo, and putting your negativist stamp on them. Get your own material.

      Le Revenant JULY 26, 2017 AT 2:17 PM

      I’m usually a pessimist when it comes to predicting regular season standings for our team, and lately I’d predict that they’d fight for a playoff spot, and then watch as Michel Therrien had his boys go out for a torrid start, which would force me to reassess.

      For this season, I’m back to wondering how we sneak into the playoffs. Tampa will right the ship. The Leafs should be even better. Florida should take another step forward.

      Meanwhile, we have these big holes in our roster. We’re missing both Top 6 centres, realistically, and a top-pairing defenceman. The latter is something we can only alleviate by creating another hole somewhere else if we make a trade, or partially plug by signing Andrei, a somewhat square peg who’s good and all, but should by now be a second or third-pairing guy on a good team, and who’s not ideal for complementing Shea Weber’s particular set of skills.

      • RightNyder says:

        I’m too lazy to go back and find where I and a dozen others have already said this 412 times… just trying to continue the conversation.

        But, oh great and glorious gasbag, please continue in the deluded belief that everyone doesn’t just skim past your pleonastic drivel and we’re all really only here to purloin your brilliance.

  26. Le Revenant says:

    Stu Cowan coming up in a couple minutes time on TSN 1040 Vancouver.

    « Il m’a cross-checké, je l’ai cross-checké. Il m’a ensuite dit : “Sais-tu qui je suis?” Je lui ai répondu: “Je ne sais pas qui tu es, mais si tu veux savoir qui je suis, on peut y aller”. Il n’a pas jeté les gants et ç’a fini là. » –Bokondji Imama

  27. Loop_G says:

    I must say I am not happy see Markov leave but am glad he is not going to be playing for another NHL team. Hope it goes well for him

    • RightNyder says:

      I’m also glad he’s not in Nashville or Florida, etc.

      KHL season generally ends (playoffs and all) on or about April 15.

      Would he have to be signed to an NHL contract by the trade deadline to be eligible for the post-season? (I’m too lazy to look it up).

      • Captain aHab says:

        Oh come on you most Nellish of all Nellies…you would have LURVED for him to end up elsewhere in the NHL so that he might have done something against the Habs which would have led to more MB bashing…admit it now – it’s the first step to recovery from Nellyism.

        Drop da puck already!

        • RightNyder says:

          OK, let me rephrase that.

          For the sake of material alone, I guess I would have enjoyed seeing him in Nashville. But there’s always more than enough to get after MB for, so I wasn’t really thinking about it that way in this case.

          Watching him finish up on a sad-sack Florida team, however, would be dismal.

          • Captain aHab says:

            That’s why I said “more MB bashing”. I have no doubt you’ll find material elsewhere.

            But you did complete step 1 – admitting you have a problem. Now on to step 2: Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to change. Your life having become a dark pit of Habs despair is one of them.

            Drop da puck already!

          • RightNyder says:

            Change what?

            If I wanted MB to fail, then there would be a problem. I’d rather be wrong a zillion times over and watch him raise the Cup.

            Since that will never happen, though, I’m actually quite content to poke fun. And as always, blindly believing the impossible will happen is surely worse than understanding why it won’t.

  28. Frank2468 says:

    Would be funny to see Markov on the preds even Emelin with PK. Could see it now Markov feathers a one timer to PK on the PP and beats Price top cheese and Emelin nails Drouin with a patent bone crushing check and another small Habs player is on the injury shelf. Way to go bargain basement bergie. Lost Markov, Emelin, sergachev and the only puck moving D man you is Petry guess Pricer is going to have to double shift as goalie and puck moving D man. And at the end of the day still no number 1 center and now a depleted D core. I feel sorry for Price he’s going to be the highest paid goalie in the NHL to never win a cup. This organization has become such a joke almost worse the Leafs and that’s nothing to be proud of. Guess that’s what MB meant went he said expect the unexpected. That’s right up there with the ghost the other GM using the leaky roof analogy.

    • Desi says:

      “Worse than the Leafs…” I never thought I could ever agree with that statement, but I do now. They’re a much more exciting team to watch, and one with a better plan and brighter future. I bet if you asked Price which team he’d rather have playing in front of him in MTL, he’d take Toronto’s in a heartbeat.

  29. Le Revenant says:

    I’m always happy to read more from Christopher Curtis. The article (linked above) about Andrei’s music video is amusing, but I’m sure this is more of a cultural difference between Russia/Europe and North America than a personal quirk of Andrei’s.

    Just like that son-of-a-billionaire ‘pop star’ crooner involved in that Russian collusion mess with Donald Jr., when you see him in a video, you wonder who in their right mind would pay for or listen to that tripe, but the male crooner is still a thing over there.

    Brandon Prust was bemused at first being dragged by Mariepier Morin to one variety show after another on French-Canadian TV stations, like ‘Tout Le Monde En Parle’ and others. He wasn’t very familiar with the format and what was expected. On U.S. TV he grew up on there was no real equivalent, these shows tend to be cookie cutter copies of the Johnny Carson archetype, so he was taken aback a little, but you could tell after one or two he got the hang of them.

    I’ll heed Mr. Curtis’ recommendation and not watch the video, but as foreign as the content might be, it probably wouldn’t faze the average consumer of Russian media.

    « Il m’a cross-checké, je l’ai cross-checké. Il m’a ensuite dit : “Sais-tu qui je suis?” Je lui ai répondu: “Je ne sais pas qui tu es, mais si tu veux savoir qui je suis, on peut y aller”. Il n’a pas jeté les gants et ç’a fini là. » –Bokondji Imama

    • Luke says:

      It’s like Quebec and Just for Laughs Gags.

      What’s that all about?
      It;’s ridiculous.

      (and it’s beer time!)

      • Le Revenant says:

        I actually think the JFL ‘Gags’ show is purposely universal, with no language spoken, rather than a “Québec thing”. Juste Pour Rire creator and owner Gilbert Rozon is a multi-millionaire, and this TV show is one reason, it’s been syndicated in a bunch of other countries, and can air pretty much as is, no need for re-shoots. Literal comedy gold.

        Whenever I see it, I remember times watching those on airplanes, and breaking the ice with seatmates when we’d guffaw at the antics.

    • on2ndthought says:

      “Once, when I covered the Canadiens for this newspaper, I looked into Markov’s eyes and honestly believed he could read my mind. So I never did that again.”

      My guess is that this was a cheesy video done to present at the wedding. I will not verify.

      “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  30. on2ndthought says:

    It may just be a question of Marky figuring, “if it’s going to be a one year contract anyway, why not take the year in Russia?” Surprised it is in Kazan.

    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  31. The_Rocket_Returns says:

    The one silver lining of today’s news: watching Bergie’s fan club blowing gaskets trying to justify the unjustifiable.

    Sometimes people call the Canadiens the new Maple Leafs. It’s not because the team is bad. It’s because for the last quarter-century management has had no plan or consistency. Bergie, who is neither good nor terrible but basically a dart-thrower who can manage the cap, is the perfect man for this role.

    Being a Habs fan now means giving up on hoping the team will win a Cup. Heck, it means giving up hoping the team will be good without being carried by Carey. Ditch your hockey dreams and just enjoy the struggle, game by game, finding joy in little things because the big things will always fall through. Good decisions will always be followed by dumb decisions.

    Until recently, that’s what it meant to be a Leafs fan. And now it’s us.

    … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Captain aHab says:

      What is unjustifiable about Andrei asking for 2 x $6M and the Habs (along with I would think every other team) not giving it to him? He asked for too much and now doesn’t want to look like he is ready to accept a much lower contract to play elsewhere in the NHL. I think he gambled that MB would be giving him anything he wanted after the LD purge and he guessed wrong. So off to the KHL he goes…

      Drop da puck already!

      • johnnylarue says:

        With agents out of the picture, you have to assume Marky’s contract ask was leaked by the organization rather than the player. And if anything, the publicizing of his 2x$6mil request is what brought pride into the equation and presumably dealt the critical blow to further negotiations.

        I respect that Markov chose to represent himself, but this really highlights why agents get paid megabucks to care of these kinds of things.

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        Markov says he would’ve taken one year. He didn’t say what the dollar figure was, but what else is Bergie going to spend it on?

        Markov isn’t perfect, but he’s a solid #2 and better than anyone else on the market.

        Hobie made the point that Montreal’s cap space could go to acquiring high-priced stars at the trade deadline. But you don’t need $8.5 million for that, and they’re going to cost prospects that the team can’t spare.

        In the meantime, the left side of the defense is a crater. What’s unjustifiable isn’t passing on Markov, but passing on Markov after having traded Beaulieu and having nothing comparable to replace him.

        That said, maybe Jerabek slots into the top 4 and everything is fine. But when a team goes into the season pinning their hopes to an unproven KHL player on a two-way contract or a trade-deadline pickup … that’s fine if you’re Phoenix, but the Habs used to be different.

        Anyways. Time to forgot about the “used to be different” part of that. History is just a reminder of what’s never coming back. Embrace the present: the Montreal New Leafs.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

        • Captain aHab says:

          Sure…he says that now. But did he really make that counter offer? Or is he saying that now to look like a good guy? And put yourself in MB’s shoes. A guy who is getting long in the tooth suddenly, just when you have let go a number of LD, decides that he is worth substantially more than before and on more than one year? I don’t blame MB if he’s miffed that Markov tried this. And honestly, if he’s easily worth this, then why did no other NHL team seem to offer it to him? I think that putting this on MB only is piling on for no other reason than to just pile on.

          Drop da puck already!

          • The_Rocket_Returns says:

            It’s a fair point about whether Markov is just saying that to look good, but if that were the case, Bergie could make him look real bad. So I’m willing to accept what he says with the caveat that I’d love to hear Bergie’s side.

            Markov’s game isn’t perfect. For the last few years I’ve commented many times about how he regularly gets caught flat-footed at the offensive blue line and gives up odd-man rushes that Carey or his partner cover up. But his numbers — both old-fashioned points and advanced metrics — were excellent last year, especially at even strength. There’s a time to ignore age and focus on ability.

            Bergie backed himself into a corner by becoming so thin at Markov’s position. If Markov wants to take advantage of that, he’s entitled to do so. And if Bergie is concerned about injury or Markov running out of gas, structure the contract with incentives for individual or team success.

            In the last year the Canadiens have lost Subban, Markov, Beaulieu and Sergachev. Into their roles were slotted Weber, Streit, Schlemko and Jerabek. That is bad.

            … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Habbily Everafter says:

      Only the Young and the Useless would not be able to understand that Markov had reached a stage of his life where he was ready to go home.

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        Then why’d he specifically leave the door open to an NHL return? For a guy ready to go home he sure seems reluctant to stay there.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

        • Habbily Everafter says:

          Because if somebody wants to give him a million or 2 to come back for a few months at the trade deadline, he’s take it. By then Russia will already have won Olympic Gold.

          You have to remember he’a a Russian. A lot has changed in Russia over the last 16 years. If he tells people here he’d rather live there, some people here will be insulted. But he appreciates what this city has done for him. He doesn’t want anybody to feel insulted.

          • The_Rocket_Returns says:

            That’s a reasonable explanation. Fair enough.

            … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

        • Captain aHab says:

          Why did he not take any of the other NHL deals that were apparently on the table? Because they were lower and it would have looked bad for him to take a low ball offer after asking the Habs for much more?

          Drop da puck already!

  32. Le Revenant says:

    I’m bummed out about Andrei. Not only because I think he makes our team better, but also because he’s one the Canadiens I enjoy watching play, love it when he feints and fakes and holds the puck, love when he intercepts a pass in the neutral zone and streaks the other way.

    Stu Cowan will be on TSN 1040 Vancouver soon, ostensibly to talk about Tim Raines’ induction in the Hall of Fame, but I imagine they’ll talk about Andrei too, Matt Sekeres and Blake Price have brought up a couple of times how he’s just shy of 1000 games played, and tied with Guy Lapointe on the alltime scoring list. They’re a little puzzled at this development too.

    I’m setting the over-under on the utterance of the word ‘P.K.’ at three.

    « Il m’a cross-checké, je l’ai cross-checké. Il m’a ensuite dit : “Sais-tu qui je suis?” Je lui ai répondu: “Je ne sais pas qui tu es, mais si tu veux savoir qui je suis, on peut y aller”. Il n’a pas jeté les gants et ç’a fini là. » –Bokondji Imama

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Obviously you will then be counting Subban as seperate from that of PK. If not your over under seems low.

      • Luke says:

        And when you give an over/under # you need to include the .5 so you don’t get bogged with a matched figure.

      • Le Revenant says:

        Yep. P.K. Subban is different in my book from talking about the PP or PK.

        P.K. =/= PK

        • Luke says:

          Are you accounting for Jordan Subban as well? What if PK is referenced in some fashion due to the relationship?
          And is it 3 by Stu or by all of them?

          I’m really going to review this further before I lay down $2.00

          • Le Revenant says:

            Any and all utterances of the word ‘P.K.’ in terms of it meaning P.K. Subban, in any context, will count.

            I expect Matt or Blake will ask one question about the depletion of the d-corps, will mention P.K. at least once, and then Stu will take the ball and run with it, say P.K. at least once too.

          • Forum Dog says:

            You guys realize that you are talking about PK more than Stu probably will in his interview. Right?

          • Le Revenant says:

            Turns out you were right Forum Dog. But we were doing a bit, so we were allowed to drive the point six feet below the ground. Stu gets no such latitude from us.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I’m bummed, too. Markov has been among our most important players for about a thousand years, and this is how it ends?

      Cryin’ shame is what that is.

      • Le Revenant says:

        I fretted early on that Andrei not having an agent might lead to a hardening of positions between he and the GM, as opposed to a negotiation where you work through that stuff over time. I guess this is what happened? Marc Bergevin presented a final ‘final offer’, Andrei had his pride, and that’s where his proud tenure came to an end.

        Not happy either.

        To people who say Andrei was asking too much, obviously he did in terms of what Marc Bergevin envisioned, but practically, he was still being used as a first-pairing defenceman, still on the first wave of the PP, still killing penalties, so why should he have accepted a pay decrease? And then go back to the ice and still be expected to carry a huge share of the load?

  33. Price07 says:

    IF the habs don’t use this extra cap space then this is a huge letdown. The team is clearly not better without Markov. If it was because they didn’t want to sign him to a 2 year deal, I would have understood. But it seems as though he would have stayed for one. So unless the cap space is used (because we have plenty of it this year, with a full team) I really don’t get it….this plan doesn’t seem like much of a plan

  34. dallyd says:

    MB loses Radulov and Markov

    Signs Streit and Hemsky. Cap space aside, you tell me if the team improved.

    That is not a good trade.

    • mrhabby says:

      Replaces with Alzner and Drouin.
      I think Drouin is younger and better then Rads.
      The votes have not been cast on Alzner.

      • RightNyder says:

        I see it as Drouin replaces Radulov, at the cost of Sergachev.
        Alzner replaces Emelin.
        Streit/Jerabek replace Markov.

        Different pieces, improvement debatable.

        • The_Rocket_Returns says:

          That’s a good way of framing it, RN.

          I’d tweak: Streit/Jerabek/Schlemko replaces Markov/Beaulieu/Nesterov.

          … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

          • 24 Cups says:

            Nesterov was never really a Hab. If Jerabek works out, then I can live with it. If he goes to Laval, then MB is goin’ to have some splaining to do. Regardless, Montreal’s D looks like crap right now.

            Some people are saying we need to spend the extra leftover cap space to get full roster value but who’s out there that you would spend it on.

            This didn’t need to happen. A compromise could have easily been reached by both parties.

        • Forum Dog says:

          Drouin > Radulov, if not this year, then 3 years from now. At least he’d better be…..

          Alzner > Emelin. Less physical, and possibly less mobile, but a much smarter and more stable player. Which Petry desperately needs…..

          Streit/Jerabek < Markov. Streit is basically done. Jerabek could be a replacement for Beaulieu, but it will take a monumental performance for him to replace what Markov brought. Maybe he is ready to step in and play 22 minutes of solid NHL hockey and put up 40 points, but I have to think that is unlikely. Can't say its impossible though. Bet no-one thought Zaitsev would play one year at $900K and then walk right into 7 years and $31.5M…..

          I'm not convinced the team is better, but this tinkering coupled with growth from within (Lehkonen, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, I talkin'bout you) should prevent any major steps back. Of course, that won't matter if the teams around them take two steps forward.

          • The_Rocket_Returns says:

            And don’t forget to include Sergachev, a guy who projects as a potential Drew Doughty, in that equation. It gets ugly. And just to pour salt in it, Schlemko < Beaulieu.

            … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Loop_G says:

      That’s a phony argument though, you are ignoring half of the equation.

    • Luke says:

      Markov and Radulov both declined offers from the Habs to sign here.

      What is MB supposed to do when someone doesn’t want to sign?

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        Give them a better offer or find a better alternative?

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

        • Luke says:

          I guess with 8.5 in space he should have given him 1 year at 8.5?

          Jeez, what a crappy way to negotiate…
          “I can pay you 4.75 Marky”
          (Blank Stare in Cyrillic)

      • Forum Dog says:

        Sometimes the offer being made is expected to be declined. Not saying that is/was the case, but is possible. There is no way (for example) that Markov is signing for 1 year and $4M when he can probably get an additional 25% and tax free elsewhere. Especially after putting up nearly 40 points in 60 games and going +18.

        • Luke says:


          But it’s risky.
          It has to be reasonable. Say 4 or 4.5 I think would be a reasonable offer that you would expect Markov to decline but wouldn’t insult him and make things messy.
          But because it has to be reasonable for the player on some level, you have to be prepared to live with it if it is accepted.

          Not sure if Bergevin would do that… negotiate in poor faith. I would think it is more likely that a professional negotiator would be upfront and honest. Cutting ties politely and with a thorough explanation instead of BSing around and possibly hamstringing yourself…

          But I suppose it is possible. People are screwy.

          Too bad, though. I’d have really liked to have Andrei back for another year and that 1,000th game.

          • Forum Dog says:

            I guess what I’ll be left wondering is ‘what was the difference?’

            Markov on a 1 year deal at $5.5 still leaves them with $3M in cap-space, and possibly gets him signed.

            Dunno. If it was single $4M offer that was made with no follow-on negotiations, well, the writing is on the wall.

            I recognize the value of budgetary flex, but at this point they have $8.5M. Unless they are going to trade Galchenyuk + Schlemko for Draisaitl + Sekeraj, I’m not sure what he’s gonna do with it all…..

  35. on2ndthought says:

    At leasat one analytics guy likes the Hemsky deal:

    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • bwoar says:

      “The below graph shows….”

      Good at analytics, grammar not so much. I still can’t imagine Hemsky in the lineup. Our forward group makes little sense right now in the middle six.

    • RightNyder says:

      Hemsky will be one of those guys who will have a couple of fantastic games that will keep the Pollys moist all season.

      “But, remember when he…”

      He’ll finish with 12 goals and 35 points, the hamster wheel will keep spinning and we’ll have the same arguments next off-season about Valtteri Filppula.

      • Loop_G says:

        He’s a role player, more to replace a guy like Flynn than anything else, but quite capable of moving up and playing well for a few games if needed.

      • Le Revenant says:

        Disagree. When his production suffers or never materializes, he’ll see his icetime diminish, and the Nellies will squawk that just like Alex Semin and Jiri Sekac and Lars Eller, he’s a superb player who’d score at a team-leading clip if he’d just get the proper linemates and PP time and ozone, lots and lots of ozone, and they’ll crucify Michel Ther…

        Never mind.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Hey let’s not forget, if today it was announced that MB signed Markov, the number of critical posts would remain the same, each complaining how stupid MB was for giving a player with broken knees that much money.

          Today was a good day for the “MB is an idiot” camp. No matter what they were winning. Charlie Sheen would be proud.

      • on2ndthought says:

        12 goals and 35 points in 60 games seems like a reasonable level of expectation.

        Filpulla would really help our team THIS year. Working with Drouin and Lehkonen on line 1b. Galchenyuk, MaxPac, Gally line 1a.

        “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • 24 Cups says:

      The article falls apart at the end. The Habs don’t have a Spezza and Pleks is where wingers go to die these days.

      I would have taken Jokinen but it’s time for me to let that go.

  36. habswarrior says:

    Well this is the end of another great player in the Habs history. I always liked Markov and he always played a very good game. Problem is that father time has caught up with him. At 38, soon to be 39, there is no way that MB could pay him the amount that he was asking, even for 1 year.
    The defense hasn’t played a minute yet this season so we can not say if it is going to be better or worse than last year. All we know is there has been a very big turnover in players. It may take them a few games to jell, but I think they will be ok. I don’t care if they are first in the division, I just want them to make the playoffs.
    With all the money and draft picks, MB can wait till the trade deadline and acquire the missing pieces to this puzzle. Only 16 teams make the playoffs so there should be a lot of defensemen available at the deadline.

  37. RightNyder says:

    Wonder if Markov inviting Subban to his wedding was the suit splash that sealed his fate?

  38. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Guaranteed Habs offer to Markov will leak a-la-Trump-White-House-style. Just a matter of time…

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    Unfortunately this link doesn’t include any gratuitous bashing of MB for acquiring King.

  40. Captain aHab says:

    If he wanted 2 x $6M, isn’t it likely he wanted North of $6M for a one-year deal?

    Happy trails, Andrei….

    Drop da puck already!

    • D Mex says:

      Likely ? Dunno, but it’s certainly possible.
      It’s a long road without any turns in it, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out to its conclusion.
      Markov’s return to the only pro franchise he has played for until now late in the season could be a real shot in the arm for him, the team and its fans. He did himself a few favours with the way in which he handled that press conference, so let’s see how this plays out.

  41. on2ndthought says:

    Russia has a very good shot at Olympic gold, with Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Markov… etc. That is not a negligible consideration.

    Like others, I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see Markov play again in a Hab’s jersey before he’s Jagr’s age.

    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Could very well be that a proviso was desired for the Olympic games.

      Nothing would shock me after the Olympics is complete and the KHL season ends. I believe the reg. season is completed in March.

    • AliHaba says:

      Don’t forget Ovechkin.

      • on2ndthought says:

        That’s right. He said he is going. I wonder.

        McDavid was pretty pissed at not getting the chance to play for Team Canada.

        “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  42. Habsbill24 says:

    Markov says he would have signed a one year contract but at what price? One that was way out of market and would have crippled the Habs cap space? Markov played 3/4 of a season last year (62 games) and at 39 how many would he have played this year? He has my respect as a great warrior and someone who gave his all. But , if anyone thinks there is loyalty by a team to stars, forget it. other than the Richards and Beliveay, how many great Habs have started and finished their careers in Montreal. All of Morenz, Geoffrion, Moore, Olmstead, Harvey, Plante, Roy, Robinson, Lapointe, Savard, Lafleur, Shutt, Johnson and Hainsworth just to name a few Hall of Famers were all let go or traded by the Habs.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Crippled the Habs cap space? What else are they going to spend it on? Unless Jerabek is a #2, their defense is weak and Markov was the best defenseman on the market.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

      • Hobie says:

        There are 2.5 months left before the season starts. The habs have $8.5 million in Cap Space. Bergevin is likely in discussions with other GMs around the league to bolster the offence, hopefully with that elusive center.

        If not prior to the season, perhaps closer to the trade deadline. I’ve heard several hockey analysts state that there’s a handful of teams that will not be able to resign and fit all their stars under the cap in 2018/19, and will be forced to deal players for prospects.

  43. D Mex says:

    Not closing doors to the Habs or another team in the NHL.
    Says he’s headed to the KHL – knows where but hasn’t signed yet.
    But listening to him speak today, it seems clear his preference is status quo in terms of where he lives and who he is employed by.

    Bergevin has just heard this, and so has his boss. They are talking with each other right now before Bergevin calls #79 to say that there will be a pro-rated contract offer after the Olympics so that he can play the 1000th game and end his Hab career in proper form. Fly in the ointment will be the KHL contract, it’ll have to be addressed.

    If John Scott gets a sympathy game for his feel-good story, something should definitely be done to make that 1000th game happen.

  44. bwoar says:

    This is a colossal stupidity. We’re ebola on the left side & our best LD option is cast off to the USSR.

    I have to believe that cap space will be used on something to help the team immediately, or we’ve just sunk ourselves for another year.

    This will culminate in an extension to Plekanec, mark my words.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Or the Russian money is huge (also tax free). This could be his last year. I don’t blame him for maxing out his money. He will never make $$$ like this again in his life.

  45. on2ndthought says:

    Markov: (sounding wooden) press conference notes (first part, then I got bored):
    ” I’m nervous
    great team, great experience
    thanks Molson, coaches, players, fans (everyone except Bergevin)
    negotiations take two, no blame, different directions
    was offered by other NHL teams
    going back to Russia play KHL this year, maybe next year back (in NHL) follow up: you never know, no doors closed, don’t see myself wearing any other NHL jersey
    Russia easier for kids
    arrangements made but contract not signed
    hope to go to Olympics (if I play well enough) too bad NHL not going
    not having agent, good relationship with everybody (obviously Bergevin)
    I’m calm now, but sad
    16 years is forever ( 🙂 )

    BTW: Markov has played 1079 games as a Hab (playoffs and regular season)

    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  46. PONCH says:

    So many MB haters it’s hilarious. Signs Streit for $ 700,000 for one year and it’s the end of the world. MB is out of his mind. How can we sign a 39 year old d-man for that kind of dough. We’d rather spend 5-6 Million for a year on a 38 year old d-man because we KNOW that he is 7 or 8 times the d-man that Streit is and would be worth every penny. All those cup rings that the Habs won with Markov leading the way and his performaces in the Stanley Cup playooffs PROVE that he is that much better. Yup, easier to be hater than to listen to both sides of the story. From day one everyone knew that MB wanted to sign him on a one year contract but so many blaming MB for not signing him to a one year contact??? Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when emotion takes over for common sense. O.K. Have at me….I come prepared.

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • FenceSurfer says:

      Thumbs up?

    • Gerry Pigeon says:


      I’ve railed on Bergy for still allowing a gaping hole at 1C, and even 2C, as Pleky’s offensive contributions have suddenly died. I think MB also stuck with MT too long, and even erred in hiring him in the first place. I’m also not crazy about the contract MB gave to Carey.

      But not signing Marky isn’t an issue for me. I have no idea what $ was offered to Marky for one year, but given how many times the Habs have given him three years contracts at $5.75M, even when knee surgeries seriously questioned the wisdom of such an offer, I think Marky owes the organization, and his bemoaning that he really wanted to stay with the Habs rings kind of hollow to me.

      Well Carey, stay in shape, take good care of yourself, hire some help for Angela. It’s going to be a long year, and you’re going to see some rubber.

      • mrhabby says:

        Ur still giving crap to Bergy.

        • Gerry Pigeon says:


          It’s not black or white. MB deserves praise for some moves, crap for others. No one bats 1.000.

          I just don’t think this move is one I should blame him for. So many have said MB failed to sign Rads and Markov, but if he “succeeded”, then the crying about overpaying would be deafening.

          Toughest job in the NHL. It doesn’t mean he’s beyond criticism, but I think you have to be fair about it. Of course, what’s “fair” is up for debate on HIO 🙂

          For today’s “non-move”, I applaud Bergy. Will the cap-space pan into the offence we need? Who knows? But I applaud the guts to try, as opposed to making the safe move, and cave to Marky.

          Habs braintrust has been making too many safe moves already the last few years (Pleks’ two year contract, Price’s ridiculous new 8 year contract), and that type of management just means the team gets older and any sense of unrealized potential that brings hope, disappears…

          Signing Price I can forgive, as he gives the team a chance every night. But more $ and term to Marky? No way. Way to stick to your guns MB. Now make good use of that cap space, get some goals!

    • RightNyder says:

      I dunno Polly Poncho.

      Leaving emotion out of it, ‘common sense’ would dictate that if there’s a guy out there who is the best d-man available, who’s better than seven of your eight projected blue-liners, willing to take a one-year deal and you have the cap space, that might just be something you’d do.

      Plus, I’d like to hear about all those Cup rings Weber (who has fewer career playoff points than Markov, BTW) has won, not ever making it past the second round and all.

      Unless MB makes a significant move with said space, this is a fail. Too early to tell now, but if he only ends up adding a couple of dep puds, it’s fair to question him.

  47. FireBergie says:

    Bergy is a disgrace, we are much worse going into this season than last. Put this dying dog out of his misery Geoffy (starting to have serious doubts about him too).

  48. PONCH says:

    Listening to the conference call. Stopped counting at 9 times he said he wanted to finish his career in Montreal. If he did, he should have signed. Also boohoo about having to move his kids to Russia to go to school. Now he knows how the other 696 players who got traded over the last 10 decade or so felt and what they had to go through with their families. Loved the guy when he wore the red, white and blue but like Lafleur, Shutt, Harvey, Moore and so many others, he’s gone so thanks for the memories and we can now move on.

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      You have no clue what he was offered so how can you say “he should have signed”? Maybe you should wait and see what the numbers were before passing judgement on Markov (same for MB)?

  49. prep says:

    What’s great about broken English leaves the door open for mis interpretation and rumors

    • sakuknows says:

      Does he have a contract? No
      Did he want one in MTL? Yes
      Is this franchises’ track record in situations like this less than favorable? YES

      What are you mis-interpreting pal?

  50. Habsville says:

    As a lifetime Habs Fan, I too say Goodbye. The trips to the Forum and seeing the Russians on new years Eve those teams I watched are a nice memory, the team and organization I see today has no class. The Cup will never return. To add insult to injury they will want to retire his jersey after he retires from a team that wanted him for a few bucks more. Why bother.

    • sakuknows says:

      I 100% agree. There are some underling pieces here with this organization that just aren’t sitting well for me.

      See the ways in which Saku, PK, and now Markov have been told to leave.

      Why bother……

  51. ari says:

    So.. Happy Bergy did not want him at all,,,not even for one year,…..


  52. haloracer18 says:

    If Alzner can put up 25 minutes/night, the team should be in very good shape. A lot of defensemen can give 17 minutes/ night, not too difficult to find. Even rookies can do that against other teams’ bottom 2 lines.
    Habs have had a terribly difficult time drafting forwards. Boston and Toronto may finish ahead of the habs this year because of that.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      There is a clear issue drafting and developing Dmen too. They should have had a replacement for Emelin and for some of Markov’s offense. Going into the UFA market to overpay a shot-blocking defensive Dman is poor drafting and development.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Alzner’s never averaged more than 21:00 in his career. He’s not going to start now.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  53. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Marky just said he is KHL bound.

    I thought it was funny when he answered the “How much will you regret not reaching the 1000 game mark on the Habs?” question, with, “Yeah, I regret I won’t reach 1000 games in Montreal THIS year.”

    Does Marky think he can come back and play another year on the Habs blueline two or three years from now?!☺

  54. prep says:

    Thanks everyone but bergy lol.. up your ##s berg

  55. Luke says:

    So, Markov says he was willing to sign a one-year deal.
    Now, I wonder what price he was willing to sign it at?

    I’d like (won’t happen) for Bergevin to say something like “We were perfectly willing to pay Andrei 5 million dollars” or “We just agreed with Draisaitl on a 7 year 8.25 million dollar offer sheet”

    But Markov’s KHL bound. He’ll make some good cash. He’ll play in the Olympics.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I hope MB didn’t nickle and dime him on a one year deal. We’ll see when we find out how much he is making in Russia. Suspect a lot more…

      • Luke says:

        I guess it depends on what the “nickel and dime” amount is exactly, and if Markov was doing the same.

        In a cap world, 250k here and there adds up.
        Just because you have room, doesn’t mean you need to fill it.
        You can also use the Cap space to be creative… trading for a good prospect and a bad contract, for example. Not exactly the move of a challenger but still an option…

        I love Markov. One of my favourite all time Habs. But, seems like it was time.

        I’m actually surprised that Marc didn’t get a deal done at 6 million or something. Seems like the kind of move he’d make… A whack of cash to a veteran defenseman.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          It doesn’t make sense that a one year deal couldn’t have been done unless the Russian money is huge.

          • Luke says:

            Even if the Russian Money isN’T huge.

            If the gap was wide enough that neither side was willing to bridge it, then maybe there just wasn’t a deal to be made.

            Was Markov happy to be a Hab at 5.25 million, but not 4.75?

            Was he pissed that Marc wouldn’t reward him for the 16 years of hard service with that extra 500k?
            Or vice versa, Was Bergevin pissed that Markov wouldn’t accept a 500k hometown discount after the team so generously paid him 50 or 60 million dollars while standing by him during his multiple knee injuries and recoveries?

            Who really knows except for the guys in the room?
            Negotiations are a weird thing. People entrench on odd positions and egos often get involved.

  56. Habby_Haberton says:

    Markov just said he is going back to the KHL – I guess for family/$$ reasons.

    He also said it is for one year, and hints he isn’t retiring anytime soon (as in he could always return – as unlikely as that sounds)

  57. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Markov is another in the line of “what-if” players that have played here. If he didn’t get hurt for so long he would be a HOF player IMO. Should have played 1000 games here. Too bad.

    • sakuknows says:


      The reality is in our lineup he is our second best d-man. Without him we have a large gaping hole that cannot be filled with bergy basement bargains.

  58. ari says:

    If he does not want to answer the questions about negotiations,what else he wants to say?….
    the fact that he did not mention Happy Bergy name,says it all

  59. BC (Because of the Cats) says:

    @ Gerry Pigeon

    I agree with everything you wrote farther down the thread.

    Markov has been great for the Habs, but at this point, he’s not worth $6million a year for two years.

    The Habs for the last few years have been one of the teams who spend the most on defence while at the same time being one of the teams who get the fewest points from their defence.

    This doesn’t make sense. In the first place, we have one of the best goaltenders in the League, so theoretically, we shouldn’t need to spend more on defence than most other teams. In the second place, we can’t score. And in the third place, our goaltender just got a whopping great raise — maybe dictated by the market, but still about $1 million per year more than would have made sense.

    Cutting ties with Markov could be a signal, along with trading Sergachev for Drouin, that the team is changing direction slightly, that we’ll be spending less on defence, more on offence. If this is the case, I’ll be on board with it. I think it’s more than time. The Penguins’ most recent Cup was won with solid goaltending, timely scoring, and a defence that included no big names. We have the goaltending, so now get the scoring. We need top centres more urgently than we need big-name defencemen.

    “We gotta lotta dep.”

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Thx Jane 🙂

      I can’t help but come back to my tug of war analogy.

      Scorers are the big muscular guys that can really pull, help you win.

      Goalies are the big fat guy at the end of the rope. They help you indirectly by making it harder for the other team to win, BUT that’s not the same as directly helping by scoring.

      More scorers please.

  60. CHerry Picker says:

    This sounds more like a retirement conference . What is this ? Players don’t normally go through this when leaving a franchise .. I know its been almost twenty years but still!! For all we know he could sign a deal tomorrow with a rival team .. or one year at four million .

  61. FenceSurfer says:

    I assume this puts a massive stick in his spokes as an agent for Markov’s post playing day career.

  62. on2ndthought says:

    press conference is supposed to start here:

    “Please. This isn’t a bar fight. Have some class.” – Adrian Tepes

  63. habsfan0 says:

    Watch Markov sign with the Laffs.
    Although he hasn’t had much luck at the ACC.

  64. Don Birnam says:

    Any of you Amigos up in The Golden Horseshoe going to the Canadian Open this weekend?

    Viva Timo Libre!

  65. CHicoHab says:

    With the departure of Marky means all good things come to an end. Definitely one of our best lifetime D’s. The blue line will have a different look this year for sure. As will the forwards. I like our teams chances this year as in any year prior. Go Habs Go!

  66. PONCH says:

    Did Markov serve the Habs well? Yup

    Did the Habs pay Markov well? Yup

    If Markov chooses to move on, it’s his choice

    If the Habs decide to not sign him to what he was seeking it’s their choice

    Neither owes the other a thing

    Case closed. If he’s not a Hab anymore come training camp, see ya and let’s all move on to discuss and cheer for those who are Habs

    To be a Hockey Fan is to be a Habs Fan

  67. RightNyder says:

    So, does Markov get his jersey retired?

    Tied for second in all-time D-man scoring for the Habs (ninth in playoffs).
    Sixth in all-time games played.
    Great team guy.
    Also, no Cups, no major awards or all-star berths.

    I say no. We’re not the Canucks. If it took 30 years to retire the number of four-time league all-star and six-time Cup champ Guy Lapointe, it’s nyet for Markov.

    Nice night in his honour? Absolutely. Jersey retired? Nope.

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