Markov creates controversy by playing in KHL game


The NHL lockout hasn’t officially ended, but already we have our first Canadiens’ controversy involving Andrei Markov.

With a tentative agreement reached to end the lockout, Markov decided to suit up and play with his Russian Vityaz Chekhov squad on Tuesday – his second KHL game since a new CBA was negotiated.

The NHL’s board of governors meets Wednesday afternoon to ratify the agreement, and the players must approve it in an online vote for it to become official. As of faceoff Tuesday at 5 p.m. Markov’s time, the lockout was not formally over.

 “I signed a contract here (with KHL Vityaz) during the lockout,” Markov told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs on Tuesday. “Right now, I’m doing what, in my opinion, is the right thing. I’m still here.

 “I still belong to (Vityaz) but I also belong to Montreal. As soon as they (meaning the Canadiens or the NHLPA) call me to let me know, or the league announces the lockout is over, I’m going to pack my bags and fly back to Montreal.”

Following Tuesday’s 3-1 Vityaz win, in which Markov played 18:19, he text-messaged Stubbs confirming he’d be on a Thursday flight back to Montreal.

You can read Stubbs’s column on Markov by clicking here.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin made it clear during a press conference Monday that his priority is to sign restricted free-agent defenceman P.K. Subban before the club opens training camp, possibly this weekend.

“I haven’t seen the new (collective bargaining agreement) and we can’t get a contract done until it’s ratified, but I have had preliminary discussions (with Subban’s agent Don Meehan) and we want to get it done as soon as possible,” Bergevin said. “My goal from Day One was to sign P.K.”

Read more by clicking here.

While Subban will eventually get a contract, Mathieu Darche’s future is uncertain. After playing a key role with the NHLPA during negotiations with the league for a new CBA, the 36-year-old free agent doesn’t have a job.

“I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Darche, who was a prominent member of the NHLPA negotiating committee, told The Gazette’s Pat Hickey. “When we finished up a little before 5 on Sunday morning, all I wanted to do was get home to watch my son play at noon. We had basically been negotiating for 39 hours and I caught up on my sleep Sunday afternoon. I had one message from my agent which said we would talk (Monday).”

You can read Hickey’s column on Darche by clicking here.

Darche isn’t the only veteran free agent left in limbo by the lockout. Monte Stewart of The Canadian Press reports that while much of the free-agent attention will be on Subban and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, there will be more of a scramble for older veteran UFAs. Read more by clicking here.

You can read TSN’s NHL Preview story on the Canadiens by clicking here.

Postmedia News national columnist Cam Cole says the Canadian team owners are the quiet villains of the lockout. Read his column by clicking here.

Meanwhile, if you’re a Bobby Orr fan you’ll be happy to know that the Hall of Famer will finally tell his life story in his own words with a new book, Orr: My Story, slated to be released in October by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Read more by clicking here.

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)



  1. joeybarrie says:

    Markov played in a professional hockey game? Wtf????
    how could he? He is flying to Montreal Thursday…. And he has the nerve to play in a hockey game on tuesday.
    what nerve.
    I mean the owners LOCKED him out. They denied him any access to play here. So he went to russia, and had the nerve to actually play when they signed him to a contract to play while her waited for them to let him play here. And he played. Well the nerve.

    what a stupid non story.

  2. Caper says:

    Watching a panel on Sportsnet and the talk was about Philly interested in PK -still. Possible trade was for Coutourier. The panel was talking about how that deal would be hard for the Flyers to make? FO! Am I missing something here? Young up and coming stud d man for a 2nd line 2 way centre is a great deal for Habs?

  3. frankcasting says:

    I don’t blame Markov or anyone else for playing on. With NHL owners making Don King look like Mother Theresa, I wouldn’t trust a THING they say until it’s in blood, on paper, notarized, and buried in a vault.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • nunacanadien says:

      Apparently the Alaska Aces have entered into negotiations with Markov after having lost their very high scoring forward Scott Gomez to the habs……maybe Markov can duplicate Gomez’s all time high of 6 goals in 11 games and even 7 assists…..maybe the Alaska Aces are what the habs need to win now…..Go Aces Go!

  4. jols101 says:

    new thread folks

  5. savethepuck says:

    Just showed on TVA Saturday Jan 19th Toronto at Montreal.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  6. tippytoes says:

    Habs vs leafs jan 19th

  7. tippytoes says:

    Patrick Holland

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Dogs tied 1-1 after 2 periods

  9. savethepuck says:

    Has anyone seen TSN’s top 300 Projected Scorers? They have Galchenyuk 138th with 11 goals and 15 assists in 44 games.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Blondie says:

      Top 300 projected scorers? Sounds like they really need some actual hockey soon.

      • savethepuck says:

        Was thinking the same thing. Who thinks up this crap

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • nunacanadien says:

          Heck if Gomez can score 6 goals in 11 games with the Alaska Aces, heck, he should be ranked higher than Galy, who is just as notorious for being invisible where ever anyone has to fight over the puck, just like our tough guy Emelin who can’t fight cause of his broken face, or the other tough guy who won’t fight anyone over 5 feet 8 inches Prust, and who knows maybe even Markov the NHL’s most notorious hypochondriac player injures his little pinky finger nail, yes, Markov sideline for getting a paper cut….

    • Shadows says:

      Interesting. Galchenyuk is most likely already better than Leblanc and Gallagher, so I’d love to see him make the team.

      Dominating in the OHL won’t be the end of the world tho, still, I REALLY want to see him with the big club. At least keep him on 1st/2nd line for a few games, pending the new CBA. Haven’t had a prospect of his caliber since I can remember.

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