Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin says he’s not interested in signing defenceman Andrei Markov and bringing him back to Montreal to play in his 1,000th NHL game.
Markov, 40, spent 16 seasons with the Canadiens and played in 990 regular-season games, but couldn’t agree to terms on a new contract with Bergevin two years ago and returned home to Russia to play with Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. During his first season in Russia, Markov posted 5-28-33 totals and a plus-7 rating in 55 games and helped Ak Bars Kazan win the Gagarin Cup as KHL champions. Last season, he had 2-12-14 totals and was plus-13 in 49 games.
Markov told The Montreal Gazette last month that he wants to return to the NHL this season and that his first choice is to play for the Canadiens.
“Two years ago, his contract was due, we made an offer,” Bergevin told RDS’s Marc Denis on a special edition of “Table d’hôte” that aired Saturday night. “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 GM added. “The player has aged. The organization has changed direction. We have a lot of young people growing up. I will name them. The (Noah) Juulsen, the (Victor) Mete, the (Josh) Brook … (Alexander) Romanov, who will be here in a year. Then, we really want to give our young people a chance.”
Markov didn’t have an agent and represented himself in contract negotiations with Bergevin two years ago. He has now hired agent Allan Walsh to represent him.