Confirmed: Markov signed for three years


The Canadiens tonight announced they’ve re-signed defenceman Andrei Markov to a three-year contract. It’s reported to be worth $5.75 million per year.

Gazette story, team release below it:

The Gazette

ST. PAUL – Ninety  minutes after general manager Pierre Gauthier said there was no urgency in signing defenceman Andrei Markov, the Canadiens announced Thursday night  that the 32-year-old has signed a three-year contract worth $17.25 million. The $5.75 million cap hit represents Markov’s salary in his last contract.

The length of the contract was a bit of a surprise because there are question marks surrounding Markov’s health. He has played only 52 games over the past two seasons and is coming off his second major knee reconstruction.

The signing gives the Canadiens 16 players under contract with a commitment of nearly $48.5 million. The salary cap for the coming season was announced Thursday and will be $64.3 million. That means the Canadiens have approximately $15.8 million to spend and will have some extra cash after signing defenceman Josh Gorges, a backup goaltender and some spare forwards.

Stability was the key word Thursday as Gauthier discussed the Canadiens’ off-season moves.

“If you look at our team, we had only five players who were with the team three years ago,” he said on the eve of the National Hockey League entry draft draft. “We ranked 23rd in the league in terms of experience as a team and I think one of our goals is to build on what we have.”

If you read between the lines, Gauthier is saying that we shouldn’t expect to see Montreal involved in any blockbuster trades like the deals Thursday which saw the Philadelphia Flyers create cap room for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov by trading Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

Gauthier has been busy in the past week, signing Max Pacioretty, Mathieu Darche and David Desharnais before re-signing Markov.

He suggested that there was  no urgency to the negotiations with Markov and pointed to last summer when talks with Carey Price dragged on.

“If you remember, we didn’t have a goaltender but we finally reached an agreement with Mr.Price on Sept. 1,” said Gauthier.

There’s one difference in the two cases – Price was a restricted free agent and Montreal was in a position to match any offer sheet. In Markov’s case, he could have started entertaining offers next Friday.

The Canadiens finished the season with 11 defenceman and Markov, Hal Gill, P.K. Subban and Jaroslav Spacek are the only players in that group who are signed for next season. Gauthier said he hasn’t reached the point where he has ruled out any of the players but that will change with Markov’s signing.

“We’re keeping all our options open,” he said.

As for priorities in the draft, Gauthier went to the GM’s book of clichés when he said: “We’ll take the best player available regardless of position.”

Gauthier did say that, while he’ll listen to any offers that would allow the Canadiens to move up in the draft, he’s confident that the Canadiens will find a quality player at No. 17.

“Our scouts tell me this is a deep draft and we’re confident that we can get a player who’s as good as  players in the top 10,” he said.

The Canadiens don’t have a second-round pick but Gauthier noted that the acquisition of prospect Michael Bournival made up for the gap. Bournival was acquired in a trade for Ryan O’Byrne.


Team release:

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of defenseman Andrei Markov to a three-year contract (2011-12 to 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased that Andrei has made the decision to pursue his career with the Montreal Canadiens. A player drafted and developed by our organization, Andrei brings a high level of talent and leadership to our team. We look forward to having him back in our lineup for the start of the upcoming season,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

Markov, 32, completed in 2010-11 his 10th season with the Canadiens in the NHL. The defenseman registered three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in seven games. He served four penalty minutes and maintained a +2 plus/minus differential, while averaging 22:54 seconds of ice time per game. Markov suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee on November 13 against Carolina.

Since 2000-01, Markov has registered 366 points (81 goals, 285 assists) in 623 NHL regular-season games. The 6’0’’, 209 lbs defenseman has recorded 361 penalty minutes and maintained a +31 plus/minus differential. Markov has scored 41 of his goals on the powerplay and two on the penalty kill. He has accumulated 18 points (3 goals, 15 assists) in 49 career NHL playoff contests.

A native of Voskresensk, Russia, Markov was the Canadiens’ sixth pick (third round, 162nd overall) at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He was part of the Russian team at the 2006 Torino and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.


  1. naweed235 says:

    just a question… what if PG signs Wiz and throws a $ 2M / 1 year deal at Kovalev and puts him on our third line and PP? this would keep our team very competitive for this year and If Markov is back to his old self we could use the Wiz as trade bate on the dead line… Also by the end of the year we have spacek’s and Kovi’s contract off our hands so we can make a play for a solid top 6 UFA which is going to be more abundant next year compared to now…

  2. naweed235 says:

    good, Next on the list: Wiz, Georges, Kanopka and if you dumb spacek sign Malone … NOW

    • OneTimer says:

      dump spacek for malone? drool!!

    • habsoutsidein says:

      How could PG sign Malone, he’s under contract for four more years at 4.5M per. As a comparable, Laich is the guy to sign…Do agree with Konopja though. Fourth line could look good with Moen/Konopka/White. Moen will always look like he doesn’t belong in nth NHL if you give him 2nd line duty. Konopka is mean, can drop the gloves, and win faceoffs at will (almost…). As much as I would like Wiz to sign, you have to remember one thing: next summer, Price, Subban and Eller will need a new contract. You need to keep some flexibility going forward. In fact there is my projected line up for next season. You’ll notice that Desharnais plays on the wing. Montreal is too deep at centern right now, and I think that, given his size, he has more chance to succeed on the wing.



      Auld or Garon

      That leave PG with a couple million to play during the season, just in case.

      • naweed235 says:

        I really like those forward lines… The reason why I really want them to sign Wiz tho is that he is an excellent insurance policy in case (god forbids) Markov is not the same or gets injured again… and he could very easily be traded and could bring in a good return … Although realistically it could only be done if Spacek is traded..

      • ds says:

        Brooks Laich is a 30-40 pt/yr player with overinflated numbers playing with the Capitals. The same situation a lot of Penguins had like Kevin Stevens or Martin Straka, John Cullen. Take him out of Washington he’s a 20 to 30 point a year player. Not what MTL needs especially at over 1.5/year. Same with Ryan Malone he’s played his whole career with Crosby/Malkin or Lecavalier and he’s a 40-50 pt guy, put him with Gomez or Plekanacs and he’s a 25-40 pt player. MTL needs a stud forward not some hard worker.

  3. MocaJoe says:

    Ok Gauthier…. Now go after Brooks Laich or Ryan Malone!!!!! give the boys some size and skill up front

    • mike3131 says:

      Hate to say it MocaJoe and Naweed but don’t count on us getting another top-6 forward. In reality, the top-9 lines are already set for next year:

      Cammy – Plecks – AK
      Max – Gomez – Gionta
      Desharnais/Eller – Desharnais/Eller – Darche

      Believe me, I wanted to see AK on the 3rd line instead of DD and welcome a Brooks Laich or wtv to play with Plecks/Cammy. But unless PG sees Darche as a 4th liner (which I doubt), we are not getting anymore scoring forwards. The focus will/should be on the 4th line, signing Wiz + Gorges and Auld (or another backup).

      ♪ And we’re livin’ here in Allentown… ♪

  4. CHsam says:

    Im going to trust management on this one… afterall, they were monitoring Markov skating on the second sheet of ice at the training center since the Playoffs. I’m sure PG would go ahead with 3 years if he and the team didn’t believe that Markov has got it in him to bring the goods. Bravo… let’s do this sh*t with a healthy Markov.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s another breakdown on the new contract for Bryzgalov. This basically makes it 7 years as was reported earlier.

    TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    Here’s Bryzgalov’s year by year: $10M, $6.5M, $8M, $6M, $6M,, $5.5M, $5.5M $2.25M, $1.25M.
    4 hours ago »
    TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    Bryzgalov gets $48M in first 7 years of deal. $2.25M in Year in 8, $1.25M in Year 9. Let’s call it a 7 year, $48M deal. It’s 9 yrs/$51.5M.
    4 hours ago

    • JD_ says:

      Thanks for that, 24C.

      Could have saved $200K per annum in cap space by settin’ years 8 and 9 at the $1M cap hit minimum, as per the Kovy Klause, if there is some realistic expectation Bryzzy doesn’t plan to work for the sharply lower bucks.

      Also curious as to why year 2 drops below the trend line like that. I’m gonna presume Bobby Clobber asked his boy Holmgren for that so Bryzzy will be more cash-tradable when Bobby’s good and ready to run him out of town after one season.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Doubtful, according to the peeps here at HI/O Tallon is too busy trying to figure out ways to trade for Gomez and Spacek than to actually rebuild the Panthers.

      • savethepuck says:

        That’s funny.

        “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  6. Sal says:

    I like to think that Markov’s knees have been fully vetted. If not, PG didn’t do his due dilligence, and, it’s a hell of a gamble. Hockey is generally speaking, not as hard on knees as other sports, and, asuming that Markov was the recipient of two very flukey hits, he should be fine. Touch wood.

    This signing makes the Habs defense extremly formidable, with or without, the Wiz. Still, sign Wiz, and the insurance is built in. Vancouver got a significant percentage of their scoring, from their potent defence, plus, they made Luongo look a lot better than he is. Price doesn’t present that particular problem. Now lose Spacek, sign Gorges.

    Sal from the Hammer

    • Jim Edson says:

      Due diligence and Goatier are not well acquainted.

      Think back to his Pro-Scout days for the Habs and the disastrous trades he OK’d?

      Niinima, Gomez just to name a couple.

      …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

      Who am I: Mohamar Ghadaffi or Gary Bettman.

  7. habaddict_andy says:

    Wow, Wiz over Markov? Really? It’s funny how I had to read how bad Canadiens are during the season and how much we are missing pieces. But Wiz over Markov? Everyone here have gone mad. Until game day starts I will give Markov the benefit of the doubt. If Markov was healthy this year he would have gotten minimum 6mn and couple of years.

  8. longbow says:

    14.8m left to spend. 2.5 for Gorges,1 for White,1 for Weber,maybe 1 for Konopka as an example.That leaves 9.3 million. I wonder what we could do with 9.3 million? I wonder how much Brad Richards would want to be a Hab ? If he says no then we move on to plan B I guess. What the heck. Worth a shot.

    “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  9. 24 Cups says:

    Hot rumour is that Toronto was close to a deal for Carter or Richards. Kadri and Kulemin would have gone the other way.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Kadri. LOL.

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      Kadri was taken too high in the draft and even Leaf fans want to get rid of him, and Kadri is in his 1st few games with the big club. lol.

      Burke is a media clown, he’ll say anything just to see his face on his LCD screen and probably records himself and to show his grandson how to run a “successful” franchise to the top.

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  10. jimmy shaker says:

    okay, here’s how I see it. 15.8 mill left, actually check that to 12.8 (3 mill) because all teams/gm’s want a little wiggle room throughout the year to accomodate injuries, emergency call ups and potential signings or trades. So that leaves 12.8 mill to sign a couple forwards another D and a back up tender. My armchair dealings see Gorges signing for 3 years at 3.5mill/per. Leaving the cap at 9.3mill left. I really believe PG has to go after the Wiz and sign him, because Gill is probably gone after this year, as well as spacek. Plus the wiz is a very solid insurance policy on marky, so he needs to be here. Sign him for 4.5 over 4 years and your left with 4.8 mill for a pyatt, halpern, pouliot, weber and even potentially a jagr and a back up tender. Should give sanford a real look which will be a step up from Auld and very cost effective as well. And if PG can somehow unload Spacek, maybe Konopka can come over and give the boys a lot of what they lack in the face off circle and someone who won’t let the cubs do what they like to do with no fear of retaliation from opposing teams.



    • scrowe21 says:

      3.5 per year for Gorges is too much imo. He’s a great shutdown D man and leader..but thats about it. 0 Offense and not a physical player.. 2.5 or 2.75 at the most.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I agree…..would like him to sign for that amount, but let’s meet in the middle and say PG signs him for 3 or 4 years at 3 mill per. I think 3mill is a fair price and a good raise for josh and the team. But again, I would be very happy if he signs for less, which means more for PG to get the wiz signed!


  11. Propwash says:

    Markov brings more positives than negatives on the ice when he plays. Any player on the ice is a gamble when it comes to injury. All it takes is being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  12. The Budz says:

    Great signing to have Markov back! A little more than I hoped for but I’m still glad he is staying. Now with the salary cap up $4.9 million from last season set at $64.3 million PLEASE SIGN THE WIZ to a long term contract.

    If we get the Wiz signed we are set! I hope PG does not offer Hammer a contract because we all ready have a old plug called Spacek!

  13. deuce6 says:

    Robin Regher to the Sabres? Slugs awaiting Regher’s decision on whether or not to waive his NTC…


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  14. 24 Cups says:

    Setoguchi gets $9M over three years.

  15. 24 Cups says:

    A question for Paul Holmgren. Did you ever consider signing Vokoun for 3 years at 5.6M a season? I’m sure he would have taken it and it’s basically a wash between the two goalies.

    It might have saved $33M and six years.

  16. deuce6 says:

    Just realized something..The Flyers may end up with, not only Schenn, but Couturier, as well…They were dynamite together in the WJC…


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  17. SUMO says:

    No problem with the Markov deal. This guy took less $$ to stay, that type of loyalty needs to be rewarded. Also a consummate professional and team player, cannot have enough of these types of players. This guy is so under-rated, even some of the Habs fans don’t realize his value.

    GREAT NEWS on the schedule. Circle Jan 7th, 2012 on your calendar!! Its the mid-way point for Gomez’s contract!!! Only 2.5 more years to go!!!

    For the older guys in here; The Mike Richards trade, doesn’t it remind you a little of the Dale Hunter deal that gutted the Nordiques for over a decade? As good as JVR and Giroux are going to be, Richard’s a heart and soul type player…..

  18. coringer says:

    Noticed this just now:

    According to Hindle, this “Compliance Buyout Clause” would enable the Habs, through the impending CBA, to buy-out Gomez consequence-free. What are the chances that this is a part of the new CBA?

    More importantly, could this affect the team’s decision this summer to hopefully resign Gorges, Hamrlik AND Wiz if they know Gomez can be bought out with no consequence at the end of this season, and that even though we may not be able to get that top 6 forward this summer, we would have the space freed up from Gomez and Spacek’s contracts to still be able to, next summer, resign PK and Price, and even make a move or two?

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      In my opinion it’s extremely likely that there will be a penalty-free buyout window after the next CBA is signed.

      1) Because they’ve done it before, so there’s precedent there
      2) It’s in both sides’ best interests – no team wants to be paying big bucks for players to ride the buses in the AHL, and the PA doesn’t want their members stuck in contractual limbo (plus a bought out player can sign a contract with another team and effectively get paid twice!)

    • Sal says:

      We can only dream, Dude!

      Sal from the Hammer

  19. bleublancrouge says:

    Love the loyalty shown here to our best player! I have no doubt he will come back and acclimate himself quickly to the pace like he did after the last unfortunate events. He will be hungry so expect him to get even better playing alongside the likes of PK, Cammy and all the other top skill guys he has never gotten a full season with. The balance will be restored on our D and I would love to see Markov help PK develop as they are the two truly superior talents we have offensively on the back end. We can only wonder right now what the pairings will be next season but I’d like to see the following at least once.
    Hammer or Wiz – Weber
    (Spacek or Hammer)

    Now show me how many teams have a defense that deep and add hammer playing the kind of minutes he should have been for the past two years it only gets better. We have something to look forward to here people Go Habs Go!

  20. zozotheclown says:

    Too long and too much money, still, can’t call it a bad signing. I would have thought he would get either term or money, not both. Guess he has a good agent. He may still rebound, so it’s not a bad signing yet, but it’s a HUGE gamble.

    • deuce6 says:

      Which is what I am trying to say…A gamble we didn’t have to make, IMO..


      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

      • bleublancrouge says:

        I may cringe when hes taken into the boards but the reality is its not a gamble when you have LTIR… their may be risks but the rewards greatly outweigh them…

  21. JasonM says:

    What a sly cat this Gauthier is.

  22. Mattyleg says:

    Some people just loooooooove to be pessimistic.
    Markov got injured. Therefore he’ll always be injured. Just like he always was.

    It seems that there is a very good chance that some people who post on this site were actually born yesterday. Because they’re forgetting that Markov played 82 games in 07-08, and 78 & 77 in the years before and after. That’s not an injury-prone player.

    Hopefully the time off will have helped him to heal properly, which obviously wasn’t the case at the beginning of this season.

    And as for the people who were born yesterday and have forgotten what Marky’s brought to the club every day since he started here: Happy Birthday.
    Now put on some goddamn clothes.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • deuce6 says:

      lol..Some people can’t have a conversation without playing the insult card…The guy is a question mark…People get injured, its a part of sports and never return to their elite self..What exempts Markov from this trend?

      Ask Priest Holmes of the KC Chiefs, Bo Jackson, or Tony Saunders of the TB Rays…All of which were never the same or retired because of them…There is a possibility…


      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

      • Mattyleg says:

        I was being witty. And biting. Because I don’t like the negative side of the ‘unimpassioned’ side of hockey.

        Markov has been a Hab all his career, and I believe he should end his career with us. He’s always given his all, and never held the team to ransom. He got his Canadian citezenship, fergodsakes.

        I think that he needs the team to show the kind of faith in him that he deserves, and that he has earned.

        Plus, there is nothing to say that he won’t bounce right back, as many have.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. deuce6 says:

    Guys, everyone is saying he IS this and he IS that, but fail to mention that 2 major knee surgeries may affect his game…He WAS a great d-man with elite talent, but is he still? We have no choice but to see, but knees and backs are the 2 most worst injuries anyone can have for lingering effect….

    If both were healthy, I would most certainly opt for Markov, but he is still a question mark whether anyone likes it or not…Wiz has shown he can perform after surgery and stay healthy, Markov is yet to do it….

    This team has shown they can win without Markov, why put 17M dollars for 3 years into his basket when he is coming off of 2 major knee surgeries at the other side of 30?

    I am just being skeptical about this signing…


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • I_SAY_FIGHT says:

      wiznewski had the exact same ACL problem…and he had 30 points in 43 games……

      • deuce6 says:

        LOL..What part don’t you understand….Wiz PROVED he can stay healthy and produce…Doesn’t mean Markov will..He still needs to prove that he is completely healthy for me to be comfortable with this signing….


        Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Deuce, obviously I’m not going to convince you, but be aware that ACL reconstruction is major but relatively routine surgery nowadays. The biggest problem would be if there was cartilage damage, but I have to assume that Mr. Gauthier consulted with his medical staff and is confident Andrei has/will recover fully.

      What we have to do is be patient when he gets back on the ice, he’ll need some time to get the feel and balance back. Even after full recovery, athletes need some time to regain full performance.

      If we had let Andrei walk, there would have been no one comparable to spend that money on. We signed him, and still have tons of money for Gorges and Wiz (please oh please).

      Believe Deuce, believe.

      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Petr Svoboda 1) Shayne Corson 2) Stephane Richer 3) Patrick Roy

      • deuce6 says:

        I’m What choice do I have? I agree on most of your comment, but I still think he is a major risk going forward…I hope not, but it could be…


        Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  24. Marc10 says:

    I’d feel better about our D if we had a real bruiser back there. That said, love Andrei and the coin is right. He is a great QB and with the emergence of PK, that gives our D a tremendous 1-2 punch. Here’s hoping he stays heal…

    Curious to see what happens next. The Flyers blowing up their team sure makes things interesting. Not sure about that one.

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

  25. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Just imagine if Markov goes down with a knee injury ten games into the season. This place will go nuts. 😯

  26. t1tan5 says:

    No discount? I am not happy with the contract because Markov has been injured the past two seasons. Even with those injuries, he gets term AND dollar value? Holy hell.

  27. habzz says:

    This will just benefit the youth on our defense = success long term


  28. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Really? There are posters who feel Andrei should not have this contract?

    Markov is worth every penny. Fantastic signing by Gauthier. Honestly, who can argue with the contracts that have been handed out thus far? This team is in great hands IMO.

    The conundrum…

    I love the summer, mountain biking, golfing, sprinkler runs with my daughter, shiny car and going for a drive (having turbo helps that “Fun Factor”), but man, some days I want October to be just around the corner.

  29. Mike D says:

    Awesome news! Congrats Andrei and welcome home!

    My personal preference if it had to be the same dollars as his old salary would have been for 1 or 2 years. Either that or a longer term deal (5 – 7 years) at something like 4.5ish mil per year. Regardless, I’m just happy we get to keep Marky!

    Injuries aside, the guy is an elite talent, a hard worker, OUR draftee, and a guy who truly loves playing in Montreal (and has no qualms about making that public knowledge).

    Just stay healthy and injury-free Andrei and we’ll be rollin!

    – Honestly yours

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Mike, how do you feel about the blow-up in Flyers country?

      • Mike D says:

        It was interesting to say the least. The Richards trade really came out of nowhere. I would say they somehow managed to win both trades though, especially if you factor in the space they created to not only sign Bryz, but the cap room they now have to make other moves. To summarize, they went from:
        A team who had tons of offensive depth but no goaltending, minimal prospects and picks, and barely any cap space;

        A team that now has a legit ‘tender, enough cap space to make a move or two, an excellent prospect in Schenn, two good youngsters in Voracek and Simmonds, and two more draft picks including the 8th overall.

        They probably lose short-term by giving up Carter and Richards, but Simmonds and Voracek are nothing to sneeze at and Schenn should be close to being an impact player in the league. Their 8th overall pick should turn into a very good player in a little while too (though I doubt he’ll be another Skinner).

        The question marks for me are why give a 31 year old Bryz a 9 year deal especially at such a high salary? What do you now do with Bobrovsky? And who’s gonna be their top 2 centers with an abundance of wingers? Giroux will likely be one, but who’s the other?

        – Honestly yours

  30. pmaraw says:

    do we have any other pics of markov?

  31. Say Ash says:

    Question: Is the Wiz capable of getting Markov’s contract in the open market?

    • Mike D says:

      I would hope not, but he’ll likely get something close from some GM if he hits the market. I really want to keep him if we can sign him for MAX. 5mil.

      – Honestly yours

  32. J_P says:

    Wow, cant believe all the hate for markov here. It wasn’t so long ago that we could barely win a game without him in the line-up. Even if he gets injured, his salary will no longer count against the cap, so whats the big deal? I wasn’t so impressed with the Wiz to the point that i would cast markov aside and sign the Wiz for the $5M+ per season that he will certainly try to get.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Haven’t read any comments below about hating AM but I would have rather gotten Wiz (maybe we still can than I’m a happy man) however i’m really worried some Broon does a knee on Knee on AM and he’ll be done for good. AM ‘s contract probably gave PG nightmares for the last 4 months. It’s gonna be a coin toss as we have a excellent player who if he returns to his former self will make PG look like a genius, however if he goes down early we have $5.75 sitting in the stands this site will be on fire. Now we really need some “Beef” to protect some of our smaller (and some “fragile” players ) so who’s the toughest player going into free agency? We will definatly need him.

      Mr. Biter

  33. Bill says:

    A few thoughts:

    Markov signing = good. Come on people: they were never going to not sign the guy. The price is fair for one of the absolute best all-round defensemen in the league, very much so. People who are harping on his point totals are ignoring the fact that Montreal’s “system” lowers everyone’s production, as well as the fact that he is also very reliable defensively.

    The Wiz, um, no thank you. Not at the price. Sorry to all his supporters, but he is exactly half the defenseman Markov is: the offensive half. Defensively he makes Spacek look like Larry Robinson. I like him. He’s a scrappy player with a good shot and shifty passing. But he’s got the same injury history as Markov, has been dealt for 3rd and 2nd round picks by two teams in the last year, and was playing for a contract this season. If you’re going to give the big money to either Markov or Wiz … it’s a no-brainer to go with Markov.

    The D is shaping up great but the situation at forward is bleak. Gomez is the disease and as yet there is no known cure. If he is even close to being as ineffectual this season as he was the last … his cap hit will be the epitaph of their season. If they could somehow lose him and replace him with a legit number one centre … this would be a different team.

    I’m content with Gionta, Cammalleri, Pacioretty, and Kostitsyn as the top wingers. Provided Gomez isn’t centring one of those lines.

    Haven’t heard much about resigning Auld … is that going to happen?

    If it’s true that Toronto lost out on Richards because they wouldn’t part with Nikolai Kulemin … well that’s my daily smile right there. They must be pretty sure they’re getting the other Richards, which is fine, because I’d rather see them with Brad than Mike.


    Full Breezer 4 Life

  34. spos080808 says:

    You people saying “well if he gets hurt no big deal because he will go on LTIR and the Habs will find someone else”…

    Um, that may be the most idiotic statement I have ever read on this site…

    You people do realize that if that was to happen, the Habs would be trading players and draft picks for fill-in players that may or may not stay with the team…i.e Wiz…

    Yah because trading up assets for injury fill-ins is how you build Cup contending teams for the future. Wow, think people.

    • deuce6 says:

      Ha Ha, I was just about to post this exact same comment…I am with you…As much as I don’t want it to happen, by mid November, Markov’s season will be over…Again…and where will we stand?


      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • DearyLeary says:

      True, we would have to fill the void left by Markov should he be injured.

      On the flipside we have an elite defenseman under contract for three years. Should he prove to be healthy (which I would hope that he is given the commitment that the management just made) that would be a huge boost to our team.

      Think about it the other way around: Which team in the NHL wouldn’t want a healthy Markov on their team? I can’t think of one that would turn him down. That he wants to play here, at a very reasonable salary, is a good thing.

      Worrying about future injuries is a worthless exercise at this point in time. If he were to go down that would likely be time to throw the season in the tank and maximize assets for the next season. We were hoping to do better this year, but after the losses of Gorges and Pacioretty we just ran ourselves a little too thin.

      So, have a little faith, enjoy the fact that an elite talent in the NHL WANTS to play in Montreal. Hope that the kind of loyalty that the management is showing in its core players (unlike, oh, say, Philadelphia), will give players a good impression about what it’s like to play here, and maybe we can make some moves in the free agency period in years to come.

      • spos080808 says:

        You got me all wrong…I am just speaking of the people who are making excuses if Markov gets hurt…They are saying there is no risk because the Habs can just use that LTIR cap space…Simply put, that reasoning is ridiculous for the reasons I listed…

        I think Markov is an elite Dman and yes, injuries are a concern, but the Bruins had no problem signing Bergeron after his numerous concussions, and look at him now…If Sid was on the market a team would pay him $9mil per regardless of his head concerns right now…

        Marty St. Louis has played at least 80 games in I think 7 or 8 seasons in a row, but who is to say he does not get tripped and go flying into the boards in Game 7 and busts his knee…These things happen…

        I like the signing and am glad they did…I personally wanted a 2 year 5.5 kind of deal, but am not worried about the 3 year deal…

        Come training camp he will be 100% ready to go, so no reason to think anything negative…

        Very good post though!

        • ZepFan2 says:

          I wasn’t trying to be negative. Just bringing up a worst case scenario.

          I’m happy Markov signed. If Wiz can have 3 surgeries on the same knee and come back the way he has, I see no reason why Markov can’t do the same. Regardless of his age.

          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  35. DanielTheRussian says:

    Markov Gorges Gill Subban.

    Get rid of Spacek and sign Wiz and this is an elite D.

  36. Propwash says:


  37. gerrybell says:

    who plays more games next year — Markov or Crosby?


  38. josh_14 says:

    pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee gauthier dont let james wisnieswski become a free agent u were talking about bringing him back for a long term deal and look at what he did for us in the season this year trade jaroslav spacek or put him on waivers that leaves you with markov yelemin subban gill then you resign gorges and wisnieswski and weber as a back

    weber as backup with these defensemen theres no way we cant win the stanley cup

    • mike3131 says:

      We must be realistic! I wouldn’t say Stanley Cup so quickly, but its a great start! Spacek won’t be so easily removed. The only way his cap hit gets deleted is through trade and he has a NTC. Not to worry because we already have a decent top 9 and still plenty of cap space for Wiz+Gorges.

      ♪ And we’re livin’ here in Allentown… ♪

  39. Rugger says:

    But Eklund said he was going to Toronto!

  40. Neutral says:

    wow what a power house, I mean joke.

  41. Un Canadien errant says:


    Bravo Mr. Gauthier!

    I believe that those who didn’t want Markov retained are forgetting what an excellent player he is, since he has basically missed the last two years.

    Let’s hope we surround him with other defencemen (please oh please sign Wisniewski too) so that he gets time to get back up to speed. Let’s limit his minutes a little for at least the first half of the season, until he regains full confidence and stability in his knee.

    “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

  42. Kramby says:

    Wow, so many people on the Wiz bandwagon. Markov can skate circles around the Wiz. Great signing. Now we just need Goerges.

  43. SmartDog says:

    As much as I like Markov, I don’t think I woulda done this deal.

    It’s too much cash to risk for a guy whose had so many problems, so much surgery. You can say his injuries are freak accidents but he’s looked pretty fragile – most of his injuries come out of nothing plays.

    “Freak” accident or no, I’m gonna be worried every time he goes into a corner. And imagine if he get injured again. Then we have 18 million tied up between him, Gomez, and Spacek. Not exactly confidence-building.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      We wouldn’t have 18 mill tied up in him. He’d go on LTIR.

      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

      • SmartDog says:

        I keep forget’ that.
        You’d think it was my money not Molson’s! Hells bells, I guess it’s okay unless he’s not able to play as hard or as well…. still a risk there.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Then what? Another 2nd rounder out the window for a guy who has half the talent and leaves at the end of the year.

        Cap space is an asset just like a player.

        • ZepFan2 says:

          So what are you saying, you’re not happy Markov signed?

          Or is it because you wanted the Wiz instead of Markov?

          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • 24 Cups says:


            I stated that getting cap relief doesn’t mean much when you lose one of your top players. In fact, it only creates other problems. Jsut ask the Pens.

        • thorandresson says:

          You seem to forget that the reason they got Wiz was not just Markov’s injury, but Gorges as well, when you lose 2 of your top 4 for the season you have to move. Things like that happen sometimes, it’s called bad luck, but they’re rare.

    • HardHabits says:

      If he gets injured it goes against the cap as relief. No biggie there. The Cap went up what his salary is. So it’s like a freebie. The Habs were still 12th over-all in the league without him. He’s icing on the cake. I also believe he will be insulated to a certain degree with Yemelin on board.

      I am not worried if he gets injured. I hope he remains healthy though. Look at Selanne. Wisniewski. They can rebuild knees that have exploded these days.

      Your concerns are still legitimate and I share them but I am less fatalistic about it.

      Sign the WIZ PG!!!!

  44. DearyLeary says:

    Was hoping we’d limit the term to two years, but I’m very happy with the deal. I have faith that he can stay healthy now, and people are going to wonder how we got so good so fast.

    Markov is one of those rare defencemen that is able to control the pace of the game almost singlehandedly. I hope he’s able to mentor PK over the next few years, because I think PK has the potential to be Markov 2.0. With two defencemen like that in your lineup any team is going to look very dangerous.

    Even if Markov’s point totals aren’t what they expect our team will score more because he’ll limit the amount of chaos in our own end, and our transition game will be much smoother.

    Welcome back, Andrei.

  45. showey47 says:

    Like the 3 year term,was hoping for about a 5 million cap hit but happy the deal is done. I beg of you PG if you have no plan to sign the wiz please trade his negotiating rights. You can’t tell me he wouldn’t fetch a 2nd or 3rd round pick. While you are at it PG if you can find a way to dump spacek it would be greatly appreciated.

    • HardHabits says:

      If PG hasn’t traded his rights maybe he’s intent on signing him. Just a thought!!!

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        PG really couldn’t trade his rights before he signed Markov, but now I think every day that passes without him doing so implies a contract negotiation.

        * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  46. HardHabits says:

    It’s a worthy gamble. If healthy awesome. If not big deal. Seriously. The Habs will have his cap space to reciprocate. Healthy he puts the Habs into a new realm with PK Subban on board. My hope is that he isn’t given the top minutes he was normally accustomed to, at least not at the beginning of the season. That he is paired with either Gill or Yemelin for some added edge when he’s on the ice. Yemelin will surprise and earn a spot fast. He wasn’t brought to be a 7th D.

    If the Habs sign Wisniewski it would be too awesome, but I wont hold my breath.

    Speaking of gambles!

    I step out to do some stuff and the world explodes around me. Both Carter and Richards traded?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Wow!!! Wowzee wow oh wow.

    Anybody think AK46 would be worth a Brayden Schenn or maybe the #8 overall pick in the 2011 Draft? Didn’t think so!!! Yep. The Habs sure are great drafters. Sorry folks. After today’s Gazoo gloating I couldn’t resist.

    • Mark C says:

      Ever heard of Kevin Marshall? He has taken two spots before PK Subban, by Philly. Guess they aren’t such great drafter either.

      • HardHabits says:

        Dude! 1st it was a joke. 2nd the Philly move was ballsy to say the least. 3rd. No way AK46 fetches what Carter or Richards got. No way.

        Mind you I still believe the Habs did well with Halak trade. But more of this is needed. This is how you build a team. Holmgren is a maverick.

        • Mark C says:

          Sorry I missed the joke. Just accustomed to you ripping on the team, didn’t realize you were always joking. Good to know. Ballsy? Does ballsy win Cups? All I heard for the past year or so was how Philly was a Cup favorite, now they’ve traded two of their best young players. Frankly, on a short-term basis I cannot see how this trades improves the Flyers, sure long-term it could work out.

          Of course, AK46 couldn’t be traded for Carter and Richards returns, but who said he could be? My point was that if AK46 over Carter makes Montreal a bad drafting team, then Marshall over Subban must mean that Philly isn’t that great at drafting, as well. Oh well, it was just a joke anyway.

    • thorandresson says:

      If Yemelin becomes anything like Volchenkov (a hitting and shot blocking machine) then watch out!

  47. awesomerino says:

    Meh, I guess. If Markov plays 70+ games per season at the standard to which we’ve become accustomed, it’s a solid signing. But that’s a big if, especially considering he’s at best our #1B defenseman, and probably #2 by mid-season if PK continues his development.

    All in all, Gauthier’s a B- in my estimation thus far. I’d grade him higher were it not for his apparent refusal to acknowledge that GomAIDS has lost more than just a step and should be buried in the Hammer.

    Is it so much to ask for a little boldness in a Habs GM?

  48. ooder says:

    so our D is shaping up to be:

    Markov – Emelin
    Subban – Gill
    Gorges – Spacek
    Weber as the 7th
    These not necessarily the pairings, just a nice format for reading
    Gomez: 36 and counting!

  49. MTLForever says:

    Do i think it was expensive, no? look at all he brings to the ice. Was stated awhile ago that Markov and Gorges’ knees are both at 100%. Looking forward to this upcoming season.

  50. LA Loyalist says:

    Great news on Markov.

    Just reposting the LA times link if you are interested, plus they are saying Ryan Smyth wants to go back to Edmonton.

  51. cheezboie says:

    The pieces are coming together. I still don’t see where Hammer fits if you want to have some youth in our D (Yemelin, Diaz, Weber, Nash) – Save some $ and make the Count give the young guys a chance!

    My armchair GM 11/12 Habs –
    rough salary guess-timates in brackets = cap hit of 56.044 mill
    leaving 6.456 million for in season adjustments (cap ceiling rumored to be 64 million)

    Camm 6 – Pleks 5 – AK46 (off-wing) 3.25
    MaxPac 1.625 – Gomez 7.357/ Desharnais 0.850 – Gio 5
    Darche 0.7 – Eller 1.27 – Trotter (0.750)
    Moen 1.5 – Engqvist 0.900 – White (0.9)/Weber (righty) (1) (and on PP a la Streit)
    Pyatt (0.6)

    First call up – Palushaj

    Markov (lefty) 5.75 – Gorges (lefty) (3)
    Gill (lefty) 2.25 – Subban (righty) 0.875
    Yemelin (lefty) 0.984 – Weber (righty) (1)/Spacek (lefty) 3.833
    Spacek (lefty) 3.833 – Diaz (righty) 0.9

    first call up – Nash (lefty)

    Price 2.75
    Auld (1)

    -0.5 Laraque buyout
    (would be better if could move Gomez and/or Spacek)

    Gomez for captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs?

    • deuce6 says:

      I have been reading PG stated that he wants to add 3 “mid-line players”…Max Talbot????


      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • Mike D says:

      Not sure why you have Trotter and Enqvist in the line-up, specifically Trotter. I would SEVERELY doubt he can make the squad this year other than maybe a couple games to fill in for an injury. Enqvist and Palushaj aren’t locks by any means either, but agree they are the most likely candidates.

      – Honestly yours

  52. mike3131 says:

    A little expensive but great! Now, pleeeeease sign Wiz!!! There’s no reason why we can’t. We have our top 9 forwards and Moen under contract, leaving us $14.8 M to sign Wiz (or at least another good D), Gorges and one or two 4th-line bangers to play with Moen. I was thinking Adam Hall to play C, and Mike Rupp to rotate with Moen/White.

    ♪ And we’re livin’ here in Allentown… ♪

  53. samTHEman says:

    Spacek (ohno!)

    Out of Wiz, Hamr, Gorges, Weber…..who gets signed? probably all but Wiz

    ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  54. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …love Markov as a key persona of the Habs’s current culture …BUT 3 years @ $ 5.75 M for 366 points over 10 years and obvious ongoing medical risk
    …I guess if We are paying Gomer the bread for what he doesn’t deliver, it was difficult to tell Andrei to be ‘reasonable’
    …oh !, and something humorous on another subject, the Turdranna Muppleweeds almost landed Mike Richards from Philthydelphia …for Nazeem Kadri and Nicholai Kuleiman !
    …it fell through because the Lepechaun balked at including Kuleiman
    …wow …I bet there are MuppleWeed fans goin’ beserk at this moment in The Land Of No Return
    …I think Brian Burke, aka The Leprechaun, is actually a ‘plant’, …an undercover agent for da Booins

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  55. deuce6 says:

    It may not be the most popular comment on this site, but 5.75M for 3 more years for a guy with one leg is brutal, and before eveyone jumps a;ll over me, I am a fan of the Habs, not Andrei Markov…Sure, I like the guy and his talent level is unquestioned, but in a cap era and his question marks on his rebuilt knee, I am not impressed…

    Wiz is 5 years younger and can bring just as much puck moving ability as Markov…Sure he may not be the same in the defensive zone, but at least we know what we are getting…PG crumbled and gave into his demands…

    Now we have 2 question marks heading into this season making 13M a year of a cap hit in 2 players…Gomez and Markov..Great…


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • dhenry1234 says:

      In my opinion I think that markov would be the over all better signing if choosing between him and The Wiz. Especially considering the fact that Wiz has had similar knee injuries to markov and missed similar periods of time from the game and came back with excellent skill.

    • MTLForever says:

      wiz had the same surgery..3 times…

      • deuce6 says:

        He has proved he can perform at a high level afterwards…Markov hasn’t, yet..I just think this may turn out wrong on so many levels for us…Letting Wiz walk and Markov getting injured, yet again or not having the same mental toughness to play the same way…Knee injuries tend to play with your mind..Believe me, I had a grade 3 tear of my Medial Collateral Ligament and never played the same since..

        Like I said, I like the guy and think he has a great talent, but its too much for too long, if you ask me…Hope it works out for us…


        Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Like mtl forever said. Wiz has had 3 surgeries on the same knee.

          The only difference is age.

          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • dhenry1234 says:

          There’s no guarantee yet that the Wiz is going to walk. You think it may turn out wrong for us, but I think that it’s going to turn out excellent for us. Markov will be extremely hungry after going two seasons with barely any game under his belt. He’s got this.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Markov must have passed whatever physical was needed. And his work ethic is well known. That said, of course it’s a risk.

      Life is a risk. Look at Kopitar, look at Saku’s eyeball or Patches hit by Chara or the headshot on Zednik.

      Remember Serge Savard’s broken leg, he came back huge.

      At least Markov will bring it. Unlike certain other millionaires who shall remain nameless.

    • Tony McLean says:

      I’m with ya deuce. The Wiz brings ‘tude. But Gomez is no ? We *know* he’s going to be an open sore. GET RID OF HIM!

      “Rebuilding since 1979.”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Deuce, relax, ACL surgery is never minor, but neither does it mean Markov now has only one leg. Wiz had three operations on his right knee, and he has fully recovered as he showed last year. This isn’t Bobby Orr-era butchery, the techniques employed are now far more advanced.

      Markov should be fine. Mr. Gauthier most definitely will have checked with the medical and physio staff to determine how the knee was coming along, and wouldn’t have pulled the trigger if not or if Andrei was dogging it in the gym, something he has never been accused of doing.

      All we need to worry about now is that Mr. Martin doesn’t rely on him too heavily early in the season. An athlete coming back from ACL surgery sometimes needs an additional year after full recovery, just to get back to full performance, to get back their balance and feel.

      This is great news. Now let’s sign Wiz.

      “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

  56. josh_14 says:

    yes the legend isnt going anywhere now lets get gorges and wisnieswski locked up also

    • darcy1 says:

      if we lock up wis, how do we add a any forward help?

      ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

  57. SnowManHabs85 says:

    All his injuries were suffered in freak accidents, c’mon guys, we have Markov back! He had almost a full year of recovery and he’s been training ever since medical staff cleared him. If Pacioretty is better than ever since his injury, think what Markov will be.

    “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

    • deuce6 says:

      It doesn’t matter how he got injured, he’s a question mark regardless…


      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

      • SnowManHabs85 says:

        No its not. 😛

        “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

      • drivefor25 says:

        Wisniewski has also had mulitple knee injuries and I don’t think he’s as good an all-round defenceman as Markov. Welcome home, Andrei!

        Fan since ’71

        • MTLForever says:

          markov is definitely the more complete dman

          • Tony McLean says:

            That’s debatable, he brings no filth unlike the Wiz and he basically hasn’t played in 2 years because of wet paper knees which tear after innocuous looking hits (although the Cooke hit was late).

            “Rebuilding since 1979.”

  58. RobertAlanFord says:

    Awesome!!! Now Wiz!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase!!!!!!!

    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  59. RGM says:

    Funny that Gauthier just had big presser and didn’t mention a word about an imminent signing. LOL

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  60. 24 Cups says:

    It’s a bit of a gamble over three years seeing that Markov is now considered to be a question mark each and every year.

    On the other hand, what else were we supposed to do? Markov is still a better bet than The Wiz, Ehrhoff or Pitkanen.

    This contract fits in with the philosophy that we can win a Cup in the next three years with a combination of older core players (Cammy, Gionta, Pleks) and young building blocks like Subban and Price.

    Steady as she goes. No chance of Philly like moves from G&G. I can live with that for now.

    Next move is to sign Gagne to a one year deal.

  61. TheMock780 says:

    That’s a lot of money and one more year then I would have liked. Marinaro’s deal was a little more palitable but at the same time I wanted Markov back so I’ll live with it.

    Markov won’t have to play the heavy minutes anymore with Subban emerging and perhaps taking over as the #1 man. This will keep him healthier

  62. The_Franchise31 says:

    cap hits the same ever year. cant change it

  63. thorandresson says:

    anyone else drooling at the thought of Subban and Markov? Imagine when that PK starts clicking…

    If both stay healthy 80% of the season I predict the habs have best PP in the league

  64. SmartDog says:

    If he’s healthy it’s great.
    If he’s not, it’s crap.

  65. TomNickle says:

    Markov, Gill, Subban and Gorges gives us an elite defense group if healthy.

    • OneTimer says:

      Yemelin, Weber and/or one of the old-timers rounds it out nicely…and what if we add Wiz! wow O_O

      • darcy1 says:

        don’t count on it… need space for forwards

        ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

    • 24 Cups says:

      Tom – Easy does it. Gill is not an elite Dman and Gorges is good, but not great. If healthy, it’s a solid D. Nothing more, nothing less.

      We’re all going to get a few more grey hairs every time Markov takes a hit near the boards. On the other hand, he will give Subban some time to grow while Subban will take some of the heat away from Markov.

  66. Corio says:

    Love the guy but very risky, I guess if he injures it again and goes on injured reserve we can free up his salary at least. Let’s hope he comes back strong and injury free!

  67. A. Berke says:

    Congrats to Markov & the Habs.

    Now, Marky please stay healthy.

    Ali B.

  68. topher5468 says:

    Now lets lock up Gorges, Then I will buy his Jersey.

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  69. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Awesome, finally confirmed! OK now, what’s next PG?

    “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  70. Captain aHab says:

    I really like Markov but I hope he plays with braces on both knees because if not, we might be throwing away draft picks for fill-ins in short order.

  71. twocents says:

    Sweeeeeat!(delivered in Cartman’s voice)

    That’s what I’m talking about baby. This are shaping up. Watch out Eastern Conference.

  72. habs03 says:


  73. Reportedly signed to a 3 year, 17.25 M deal. 5.75 M per year.

    (According to Pierre LeBrun on Twitter)

    • darcy1 says:

      thats a lot of money…. i was hoping the 3rd year bought us some cap space – in the 4.5-5 range.

      ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

      • Bill J says:

        Huh? Cap hits are the average, they stay the same for the duration of the contract.

        • TomNickle says:

          He meant that Gauthier giving Markov a third year should’ve lowered the price on the contract, and I agree. When three years was confirmed I assumed it would be around $4.75 – $5 million annually Bill.

          • darcy1 says:

            Thanks tom. poor choice of wording on my part, but whatcha gonna do?

            ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

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