Tag:Andrei Markov
Posted on: January 1, 2012 5:55 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 7:23 pm
 

Canadiens sign Josh Gorges for 6 years

By: Adam Gretz

The Montreal Canadiens blue line has been crushed by injuries all season. One player that's avoided the injury bug has been shutdown defenseman Josh Gorges, and his play was rewarded on Sunday afternoon with a brand new six-year contract that's worth a reported $23.4 million dollars. The deal also reportedly includes a complete no-trade clause in the first year of the deal, and a limited one over the following five years.

In 39 games this season he's scored one goal to go with nine assists, but offense isn't necessarily what his game is about. Gorges generally plays against the oppositions best players and logs the toughest assignments on the Montreal blue line. That role has expanded quite a bit this season given the absence of players like Andrei Markov, as well as the departure of Roman Hamrlik over the summer in free agency.

His play this season defensively has been one of the few bright spot for a Montreal team that's already replaced its head coach (as well as assistant coach Perry Pearn) and currently sits in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, already eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

At the age of 27 Gorges is still probably in the prime of his career for at least a few more years, and the $3.8 million average annual salary represents a $1.3 million increase from the $2.5 million he makes this season. 

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: December 17, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

By: Adam Gretz

It had been a couple of days since the NHL went through a coaching change, so it was probably time for another one. On Saturday morning the Montreal Canadiens announced that head coach Jacques Martin has been relieved of his duties and will be replaced on an interim basis by Randy Cunneyworth for the remainder of the season.

The Canadiens will be in action on Saturday night at home against the New Jersey Devils. They enter the weekend with a disappointing 13-12-7 record which puts them in last place in the Northeast Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference, two points out of the No. 8 seed. Crushed by injuries all season, especially along its blue line where the team has been without one of its best players, Andrei Markov, from the start, as well as several other key players at various teams, Montreal struggled out of the gate losing seven of its first eight games.

That slow start made assistant coach Perry Pearn the early-season sacrificial lamb, which really did nothing more than buy some additional time for Martin behind the bench.

This was Martin's third season as Montreal's coach, and during his tenure with the team compiled a 96-75-25 record. During his watch the Canadiens qualified for the postseason in each of his full seasons with the team, with the high point being the 2009-10 season when the team made an improbable run to the Eastern Conference Finals behind the stellar goaltending of Jaroslav Halak, eliminating the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals and defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, both in seven games.

Last season Montreal exited in the first round, losing a game seven to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.

Replacing him behind the bench for the remainder of this season will be the 50-year-old Cunneyworth. A former player in the NHL for nearly two decades, Cunneyworth was hired as the coach of Montreal's AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, prior to the 2010-11 season.

This is already the sixth coaching change to take place since the start of the regular season, as Martin joins Davis Payne (St. Louis), Bruce Boudreau (Washington), Paul Maurice (Carolina), Randy Carlyle (Anaheim) and Terry Murray (Los Angeles) as coaches to take the fall for their teams early season struggles.

More on the NHL's coaching carousel here

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Another surgery for Andrei Markov

By: Adam Gretz

Andrei Markov's return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup is being delayed once again, as it was announced by general manager Pierre Gauthier on Saturday that the defenseman will undergo another "minor surgery." He is expected to miss "a few more weeks."

Markov hasn't played for the Canadiens this season and hasn't appeared in a game since mid-november ... of 2010. Since the start of the 2009-10 season he's been in Montreal's lineup just 52 times due to various injuries, including the knee injury that's kept him on the shelf for the first two months of this season.

Even with all of the injury problems in recent years the Canadiens had faith that he would be able to help them not only this season, but also in future seasons, signing him to a three-year contract extension over the summer worth $5.75 million per season. Needless to say, it hasn't worked out to this point. And that has been the theme of the Canadiens 2011-12 season, especially on the blue line, as their defense has been crushed by injuries all year.

Along with Markov, the team has also been without Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill and Chris Campoli for extended periods of time, and it's obviously had a rather large impact on the on-ice product. Montreal enters play on Saturday at the bottom of the Northeast Division with a 10-11-5 record, while also winning just three of its past 10 games.

Its power play, which is quarterbacked by Markov when he is in the lineup, is currently 26th in the NHL converting on just 11.8 of its chances.

More Montreal Canadiens News Here

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:46 pm
 

The Habs could get D Markov back on Wed.

By Brian Stubits

The Montreal Canadiens might be getting a very key piece to their puzzle back in the lineup on Wednesday.

According to RDS.cathe Habs could have their top defenseman, Andrei Markov, back for Wednesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks. The report states (starting to wish I took French instead of Spanish, but Google translator is amazing) that Markov was skating with Alexei Emelin in practice on Tuesday.

Markov has not played since Nov. 13 of last season when he suffered a knee injury after falling awkwardly into the boards. The last time Markov played a full -- or close to -- season was 2008-09 when he had 12 goals and 52 assists in 78 games. The Habs would love to have that kind of production back on the blue line.

Over the offseason, the Canadiens, short on defense, inked the veteran to a three-year deal worth $5.75 million per season.

Without Markov and other members of an injury-riddled defense corps, they have been forced to rely on a lot of unproven young defenseman. Thanks in part to Carey Price behind them, the Habs rank ninth in the league in goals against. But it's the offense they would really love to get back from Markov.

After that epically bad beginning to the season, the Canadiens have smoothed things out and are now quietly floating just off the radar in the Eastern Conference. If Markov can give them the same production he used to, perhaps they won't be as quiet any more.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Jaroslav Spacek to return for Montreal

Spacek1By: Adam Gretz

Finally, some good news for the Montreal Canadiens. Well, some potential good news anyway.

When the Canadiens take on the Florida Panthers on Monday night they will be getting one of their injured defenseman back as Jaroslav Spacek is expected to be in the lineup for the first time since the second game of the season when he went out with a rib injury in a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Canadiens, plagued by injuries for much of the season, especially on their blue line, haven't won since that night in Winnipeg and carry a five-game losing streak into Monday's home game with the Panthers. That losing streak has caused a bit of a panic in Montreal, and head coach Jacques Martin seems to be sitting on the hot seat whether it's justified or not. When you've been without two of your top defensemen for all but two games of the season, as well as missing players like Michael Cammalleri and Chris Campoli, some struggles should be expected. Maybe not as many as they've had over the first two weeks, but some.

In the absence of Markov and Spacek a lot of the pressure has fallen on P.K. Subban and he's struggled so far, recording just two assists in seven games. A disappointing start for a player that scored 14 goals to go along with 24 assists as a rookie just a year ago.

Peter Budaj is expected to start in goal for the Canadiens, giving Carey Price the night off. Scott Gomez, out with an upper body injury, is not expected to play.

In other news, the Panthers will be without Mikael Samuelsson in this game as he's still in Vancouver dealing with some soreness according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Samuelsson, of course, was acquired over the weekend, along with Marco Sturm, in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward David Booth.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Canadiens injury woes continue

By: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- In what seems to be a nightly routine for the Montreal Canadiens, they lost another player to injury on Thursday night.

On the same night they had one of their leading offensive players, Michael Cammalleri, return to the lineup, the revolving door of injuries continued to swing during their 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh. Center Scott Gomez left the game early in the first period after playing just a little over two-and-a-half minutes.

He did not return, and head coach Jacques Martin said after the game that it was an "upper body injury" and that he will be re-evaluated on Friday.

The veteran center has been logging around 17 minutes of ice-time per game this season for the Canadiens but has recorded just one assist through their first five games of the season. At various points thoughout the night the Canadiens were down to just 10 forwards as Gomez's injury was joined by brief absences by Max Pacioretty and Andreas Engqvist. Both players eventually returned.

"Obviously he's a big part of the team," said Canadiens forward Brian Gionta of Gomez. "But they're [Pittsburgh] missing some big guys, too. Injuries are not an excuse."

Excuse or not, the Canadiens have definitely had the injury bug take a bite out of their lineup in the early parts of the season. Cammalleri's return on Thursday was just his third game of the year. He said he felt OK in his return and that he will "have to get used to it a little bit, but it felt good." They've also lost a number of defensemen to injury including Jaroslav Spacek and Chris Campoli. Campoli managed to play just one game after he was signed to help add depth to their already depleted blue line.

Andrei Markov, the team's best defenseman, has yet to appear in a game this season -- after playing in just seven a year ago -- due to complications from his offseason knee surgery. The Canadiens are now 1-4-1 on the young season, but we also haven't had an opportunity to see them at full strength.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Canadiens injury woes continue

By: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- In what seems to be a nightly routine for the Montreal Canadiens, they lost another player to injury on Thursday night.

On the same night they had one of their leading offensive players, Michael Cammalleri, return to the lineup, the revolving door of injuries continued to swing during their 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh. Center Scott Gomez left the game early in the first period after playing just a little over two-and-a-half minutes.

He did not return, and head coach Jacques Martin said after the game that it was an "upper body injury" and that he will be re-evaluated on Friday.

The veteran center has been logging around 17 minutes of ice-time per game this season for the Canadiens but has recorded just one assist through their first five games of the season. At various points thoughout the night the Canadiens were down to just 10 forwards as Gomez's injury was joined by brief absences by Max Pacioretty and Andreas Engqvist. Both players eventually returned.

"Obviously he's a big part of the team," said Canadiens forward Brian Gionta of Gomez. "But they're [Pittsburgh] missing some big guys, too. Injuries are not an excuse."

Excuse or not, the Canadiens have definitely had the injury bug take a bite out of their lineup in the early parts of the season. Cammalleri's return on Thursday was just his third game of the year. He said he felt OK in his return and that he will "have to get used to it a little bit, but it felt good." They've also lost a number of defensemen to injury including Jaroslav Spacek and Chris Campoli. Campoli managed to play just one game after he was signed to help add depth to their already depleted blue line.

Andrei Markov, the team's best defenseman, has yet to appear in a game this season -- after playing in just seven a year ago -- due to complications from his offseason knee surgery. The Canadiens are now 1-4-1 on the young season, but we also haven't had an opportunity to see them at full strength.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 8, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Canadiens could lose Campoli for 'months'

CC1By: Adam Gretz

The Montreal Canadiens picked up Chris Campoli in an effort to boost their depth on the blue line, in large part because veteran Andrei Markov is still having some complications with his knee injury that sidelined him for much of last season. Unfortunately, the signing of Campoli, which took place just two weeks ago, has only managed to add to their injury problems on defense, as the veteran managed to make it through just one regular season before having to be sidelined himself. 

According to head coach Jacques Martin, Campoli could be out of the lineup for "months" as a result of a lower body injury he suffered in Montreao's season-opening 2-0 loss to Toronto on Thursday. He played just 11 minutes and was reportedly spotted on crutches after the game. There's no word yet as to what sort of injury he suffered, but based on the potential timeline for his return it's obviously a serious one.

He was availablle as a free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks walked away from him in arbitration, allowing him to hit the open market. He remained unsigned until Sep. 26 when the Canadiens signed him to a deal worth a little over $1 million. He recorded four goals and 17 assists with the Senators and Blackhawks last season.

The Canadien's depth on the blue line is going to get a serious test in the early going until Markov is ready to return, and all of the pressure will fall on P.K. Subban, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges and Yannick Weber to carry the workload.

Photo: Getty Images

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com