According to Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, the team is not interested in signing former Habs defenceman Andrei Markov.
In a sit-down interview with RDS, Bergevin made it clear that the club has changed direction and wants to give the younger defencemen in the organization a chance. Markov is 10 NHL games away from reaching the 1,000 benchmark.
“Two years ago, his contract was due, we made an offer,” said Bergevin. “Efforts were made to sign it and he chose another direction that was KHL. It was two years ago.
“Since that time, things have changed. The player has aged. The organization has changed direction. We have a lot of young people growing up. I will name them. (Noah) Juulsen, (Victor) Mete, (Josh) Brook … (Alexander) Romanov, who will be here in a year. Then, we really want to give our young people a chance.”
The Habs currently have eight defencemen listed on their official roster page.
Markov spent 16 seasons with the Habs but couldn't agree on a new contract with the team two years ago and returned to Russia to play in the KHL with Ak Bars Kazan. Markov told The Montreal Gazette in August that he wants to make a return to the NHL with the Habs as his first choice.
“That’s my dream, you know,” Markov said last month. “But it’s not up to me. We’ll see … we’ll see what’s going to happen. I’ll try to train hard and prepare myself. But it’s not just my decision. I’m trying to prepare myself for that, but we’ll see what’s going to happen, you know. Most probably it’s going to be my last year. I’m looking for a one-year contract and try to enjoy that and give my all.”
Markov didn't have an agent two years ago and represented himself in those contract negotiations with Bergevin. He has now hired agent Allan Walsh.
The 40-year-old has played 990 career NHL games, recording 119 goals and 572 points.