Tag: Saku Koivu

PK Subban

Subban favored to be next Habs captain, says oddsmaker


Montreal is currently without a captain for the first time in five years and, according to online oddsmaker Bovada, P.K. Subban is favored to be the next Canadien to wear the “C”.

Subban tops the list of potential candidates to replace Brian Gionta, who took over Montreal’s captaincy in 2010 but signed with Buffalo on the opening day of free agency. Gionta succeeded Saku Koivu, who’d been the Habs’ captain from 1999-2009 but left as a free agent following the 2008-09 season (of note, 2009-10 was the first time in club history the Canadiens played a full season without a captain.)

The full list of candidates, per Bovada:

P.K. Subban                 1/1

Tomas Plekanec            3/2

Andrei Markov               11/4

Max Pacioretty              6/1

Of the guys behind Subban, Markov has the most experience in terms of leadership as he was named Montreal’s alternate captain in 2010 (at the same time Gionta took the “C”). Plekanec isn’t far behind, though — he captained the Czech Republic’s team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, reprising his role from the 2012 World Hockey Championships.

There have been 28 captains in Canadiens history, with Koivu and Jean Beliveau sharing the record for longest tenure (10 years).

Ducks parting ways with Koivu, Hiller and Winnik

Saku Koivu

The Anaheim Ducks are moving on from three veteran presences.

On Thursday, GM Bob Murray said the club wouldn’t extend offers to pending UFAs Saku Koivu, Jonas Hiller and Daniel Winnik, per the O.C. Register. The moves aren’t entirely surprising given Anaheim’s wealth of young prospects on the horizon, but still represent a significant shift in the club’s identity.

Koivu, 39, has been with the team for the last five seasons and has served as the Ducks’ alternate captain since signing in 2009. Despite missing significant time last year with a concussion, Koivu still put up a respectable 11 goals and 29 points in 65 games while averaging over 15 minutes a night… that said, he struggled in the playoffs and went goalless with just one assist, and saw his ice time dip to 12:44.

Cutting ties with Hiller, 32, isn’t surprising at all. The writing was on the wall late in the regular season when Bruce Boudreau played both Frederik Andersen and John Gibson down the stretch, and was further etched when Boudreau turned to Gibson, not Hiller, after Andersen was hurt in the second-round defeat to Los Angeles. The Swiss netminder, who has spent all six of his NHL seasons in Anaheim, sits third all time among Ducks goalies in games played (326), wins (162) and shutouts (21).

As for where Hiller might end up?

Winnik, 29, is an interesting case. He scored a career-high 30 points last season — while making a tidy $1.8 million — and at times proved to be a useful, big-body forward (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) in his two seasons with the Ducks. The former Coyote, Shark and Avalanche did fall out of favor in the postseason, though, sitting as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions while recording just one assist in nine games.

As mentioned above, Anaheim does have a ton of young forward talent waiting in the wings. Devante Smith-Pelly, Rickard Rakell and Emerson Etem were all knocking at the door last season, and the club still has the likes of William Karlsson (53rd overall, 2011) and Nicolas Kerdiles (36th overall, 2012) in the mix.

Report: Canadiens, Markov close to new deal

Andrei Markov
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Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov is a fan favorite and it looks like he’ll be staying in Quebec.

According to Richard Labbe of La Presse (link in French), Markov’s agent, former NHL forward Sergei Berezin, says his client is close to re-signing with the Habs. Translation courtesy Chantal Ledoux:

“We know what Habs management wants, and they know what Andrei wants,” Berezin said. “There are no surprises and I am optimistic in this case, the main reason being that I feel the team wishes to keep Andrei, and Andrei wants to remain with this team. That’s what’s important to understand. The rest are just details we need to work out.”

 Markov has played 13 seasons in Montreal and made his debut with the team in the 2000-01 season. In that time he’s scored 98 goals and piled up 442 points and helped take the Canadiens to the playoffs seven times. He’s as much of a fixture in Montreal as any player that’s played there since Saku Koivu.

After putting three seasons of injuries behind him he’s been a key contributor the past two seasons with 73 points and has missed just one game. If Markov parted ways with the team at this point in his career it’d be stunning. Expect him to continue patrolling the Montreal blue line alongside Alexei Emelin for at least another season.