38-Year-Old Defenseman – Montreal Canadiens
Andrei Markov Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $17.25 million extension with the Canadiens in June 2014.
Markov (lower body) did not participate in Sunday's practice, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Andrei Markov: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A few years ago, it looked like Markov's career might almost be over thanks to his knee issues, but he's bounced back to become one of the NHL's most reliable offensive defensemen in his mid-30s, having missed just two games in the last three seasons. Last year was one of his best yet, as he atoned for his anomalously low shooting percentage from the previous season to net double-digit goals for the sixth time in his career and 50 points for the third time. An ugly own goal in the playoffs will provide him with some sour memories, but Markov and defensive partner P.K. Subban should get right back in the saddle as perhaps the most offensively explosive blue-line combo in the NHL.
Markov started 81 games last season after playing a full schedule in the lockout year, prompting Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin to gamble on the 35-year-old defenseman for another three years. He had 43 points in 2013-14 and improved by 21 goals in the plus-minus category (minus-9 to plus-12) despite reduction in his mobility on the back end. The injury history and age are obviously the biggest concerns, but he remains a gifted offensive talent on the blue line.
It's been a long slog for Markov, who had played just 65 games between 2009 and 2012. For the first time in two seasons, in 2012-13 he began a season healthy and was a leading offensive contributor for Montreal, scoring 30 points in 48 games. Eight of his 10 goals came on the power play, an area of the game in which Markov has historically been good. He'll be 35 this season and there were several times he looked slow on defense and finished up with a minus-9, far and away the worst on the team. He'll play a big role for the Habs once again, quarterbacking the power play and supporting offense.
Markov returned to the ice in 2011-12 after rehabbing his knee for most of the last two years. He was somewhat tentative in his return and the Canadiens were wan to press him too much. A healthy offseason for the first time in three years will help. If healthy, Markov is one of the game's better scoring defensemen and will lead the Canadiens' power play unit.
The Canadiens are showing a lot of faith in Markovís recuperative powers. They handed him a four-year contract at age 32 after having played just 52 games in the last two seasons due to two reconstructive knee surgeries. When healthy, Markov has been an elite scoring defenseman, a team leader in minutes played and, perhaps most importantly, the quarterback of the Canadiensí power play unit. Obviously, the big question is the state of his right knee.
Markov dealt with leg and knee issues for most of the entire season last year and still performed very well when he played. He scored six goals and added 28 assists for 34 points in only 45 games. In all, it was a disappointing season for Markov who could not stay consistently healthy and could not repeat the career year he had the previous season. Barring rapid improvement from May knee surgery that gets him back ahead of schedule, Markov will likely miss all of October and the first couple of weeks in November because of the injury. He'd make a great reserve, however, if your league has the extra spots to store a big scorer from the blue line when he's in there.
Markov led all NHL defensemen with 52 assists to go along with 12 goals. He was second among defensemen, behind Mike Green, with 64 points. There is no reason to believe he will slow down this season. Even though they lost their most consistent first line from last season, the Habs made some key additions by adding Cammalleri, Gionta and Gomez, which should allow Markov to maintain his excellent assist numbers.
Markov has been an underrated fantasy commodity over the last couple of seasons but that's all over now. When Sheldon Souray left Montreal many thought the Habs power play would suffer. Didn't happen. Now Mark Streit has left but Markov owners should care less. Markov will QB the power play and see his customary 24-27 minutes a night. While Markov is coming off a monster season in which he bagged 16 goals and 58 points in 82 games, this guy is no one-year wonder. He's put up an amazing 161 points in 226 games over the past three seasons. That's roughly 54 points in 74 games, averaged over the last three seasons. Want more? He's registered exactly 32 power-play points in each of the last two seasons. Don't think this stud D-man is passive either. Markov has averaged a respectable 64 PIMs over the last three campaigns. If the opposition cheats to his side on the power play, the Habs would likely shift Alex Kovalev to the other point so there's little to be afraid of when picking Markov as your No. 1 or No. 2 roto defender.
Markov is the Canadiens' top defenseman on both sides of the ice. Moreover, with Sheltdon Souray now an Oiler, Markov should see a boost in power-play points in the 2007-08 season. Remember that Markov played more often on the second power play unit last season due to the surprising success of fellow D-man Marc Streit.
Markov had 46 points in 67 games last year. He was also a plus-13 with 74 PIMs. That's a complete package for a fantasy defenseman. Expect more of the same this season as he plays alongside Sheldon Souray on the power play.
Andrei Markov is one of those players who has the talent to be a top-flight defenseman, but consistently disappoints. Markov is arguably the Habsí most reliable blue-liner and will be counted on for power play minutes and for steady play. Andrei is always someone that hockey fans see as a late round pick, with the ability to explode on the scoresheet. Heíll probably log the most ice time on this team.