Andrei Markov played his first game with the Montreal Canadiens back in 2000-01. Since then, he established himself as one of the more underrated defensemen in the NHL.
In 990 career games (all with Montreal), Markov accumulated 119 goals and 572 points. The veteran trails only Larry Robinson when it comes to points by a defenseman in the franchise’s history.
But this summer, Canadiens GM Marc Bergervin and Markov were unable to come to terms on a new contract. He became a free agent on July 1st, and after weeks of waiting it out, he decided to go back to Russia instead of playing for a different NHL team.
Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, who has witnessed a good chunk of Markov’s career first-hand, admits it was tough to watch him leave.
“Obviously, losing a player like Markov after playing his full career with the Montreal Canadiens, it’s disappointing to see because he really is a true Montreal Canadien at heart,” said Molson, per the Montreal Gazette. “But I think he made his decision and he’s moving on and we’re going to overcome that loss. But we’re grateful for everything he gave to us.”
The KHL season might be just four games old, but Markov has looked solid during his short time with AK Bars Kazan. He’s already picked up one goal and five assists in 2017-18. It appears as though the 38-year-old can still play at a high level.