Andrei Markov's Canadiens contract is a bad move

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Andrei Markov (©GettyImages)
Andrei Markov (©GettyImages).

Andrei Markov and the Montreal Canadiens have agreed to a new three year contract.

The 35-year-old defensemen has been working out a deal with the organization over the past few days. The deal is worth a whopping total of $17.25m, which works out to $5.75m per season for the next three years. Markov has accumulated 98 goals and 344 assists throughout his time with the Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is very pleased to have secured the veteran for the next three years. I’m however not pleased and very surprised. I believe the price is far too high.

The alternatives

I know Markov’s experience and the fact that he’s stayed with Montreal his entire career were contributing factors in this deal. But the truth is, Markov’s numbers and overall play have been in a steady decline in recent years. He’s struggled with injuries and was in the spot light for making some fairly critical errors in the playoffs this year.

I expected he would re-sign, but I certainly didn’t think he would get exactly what he wanted. Plus, I would’ve rather the organization resigned fan favorite PK Subban long before signing Markov. Regardless, Markov is staying put and I’m sure he’ll continue to help the team succeed.

Markov's skills

He’s got plenty of experience, excellent leadership skills and is a stay-at-home type of defensemen. He accumulated seven goals and 36 assists for Montreal last season. He scored one goal and set up nine others in the team’s playoff campaign this year as well. He’s managed to keep his position on the team’s powerplay units and logs over 25 minutes of ice time per game.

He may have lost some of his speed over the years, but his positional play and ability to read the game will be quite an asset to the team. GM Marc Bergervin may be pleased with this signing, but his work is far from over.

Other big decisions

Now he faces the challenge of attempting to re-sign fan favorites PK Subban and Captain Brian Gionta. Also, it will be interesting to see what becomes of Mike Weaver and Francis Boullion now that Markov has taken up so much cap space.

Lars Eller will also be a huge talking point ahead of the draft. I can’t wait to see if Bergervin can find a way to sign PK Subban to a long-term deal. He’s a vital part of the team and hugely popular with the Montreal fans and Canadien fans in general.

It’s safe to say that there are plenty more tough decisions ahead for Marc Bergervin. I believe the length of Markov’s new contract may end up hurting the organisation in the end.

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