Markov agreed on a two-year deal with AK Bars Kazan of the KHL, Sportsnet reports. Markov is said to have chosen that club due to his history with head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. Fantasy owners can safely cut bait on Markov in all formats since we hadn't heard of him being linked to any team other than the Habs before he ultimately settled on the KHL deal.
Markov will return to his native Russia and join the KHL for the upcoming 2017-18 campaign. Markov told reporters he couldn't imagine playing for another NHL team. No doubt the chance of suiting up at the 2018 Winter Olympics -- something he wouldn't be able to do in the NHL -- factored into the decision as well. After 16 seasons with the Habs, this likely will end the blueliner's NHL career with 990 games in which he tallied 119 goals, 453 helpers and 505 PIM.
Markov, who has spent 16 years of service time exclusively with the Canadiens, officially will not return to the club for the 2017-18 season. The writing was on the wall that Markov would end up walking as an unrestricted free agent once Habs GM Marc Bergevin elected to expose the veteran to the Golden Knights for the expansion draft, and the big boss also courted the likes of Karl Alzner, David Schlemko and Mark Streit in free agency. Assuming that Markov wants to continue his NHL career, he shouldn't have trouble finding a new employer if the asking price is reasonable. He's manufactured 572 points (119 goals, 453 assists) over 990 career contests, and he still averaged 21:50 of ice time last season despite turning 38 years old in December.
Markov, a pending unrestricted free agent, is likely to move on from the Canadiens, Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports. The 38-year-old Russian averaged just over 40 points with the Habs over the past five seasons, living up to the expression that age is just a number. Still, it's strange to think that he could be moving on after spending all 17 years of his NHL career in Montreal. Markov averaged 21:50 of ice time in 2016-17, so expect him to remain productive as long as his body can handle the rigors of a full season.
Markov was made available by the Canadiens for Wednesday's expansion draft, TSN reports. Markov just finished his 16th NHL season with the Canadiens and posted 36 points in 62 games. It was the first time since 2012-13 that the 38-year-old Markov did not appear in at least 80 games, as he missed a stretch in December and January with a lower-body injury. Markov is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so if he goes unselected by the Golden Knights, he'll be on the open market to sign a new deal with the team of his choice.
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Last 7 Games
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