The Montreal Canadiens would like to keep defenseman Andrei Markov once his current contract expires this summer, but they’re not eager to risk inking him to a multi-year deal.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has extended a one-year, $6 million contract extension to the 35-year-old defenseman, according to TSN 690’s Tony Marinaro. That would represent a slight increase over his existing $5.75 million annual salary, but Markov is hoping for a three-year deal.
Markov remains a top-tier offensive defenseman and is particularly effective with the man advantage. He has 31 points in 59 contests this season and ranks 11th in the NHL with an average of 25:04 minutes per game.
He was just as good last season, but before that he played in only 65 games over three seasons due to knee injuries. Between his history and his age, it’s not hard to see why Montreal might view him as a risk.
Montreal also needs to re-sign defenseman P.K. Subban, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent and is likely to command a massive salary after winning the Norris Trophy in 2013.