Former Canadiens’ Andrei Markov announced his retirement from pro hockey on Thursday. Markov was an outstanding defenceman for the Canadiens, appearing in 990 games over sixteen seasons from 2000 to 2017. Drafted 162nd overall in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Draft, Markov registered 192 Goals and 572 points during his NHL career, spent entirely with the Canadiens. A skilled passer, Markov was the anchor of the Canadiens power play for several seasons.
After failing to negotiate a deal with the Habs in the 2017 off-season, Markov left Montreal for the KHL where he played for the last three seasons, winning a KHL championship in 2017-18 with the Ak Bars Kazan. After playing an additional season with Ak Bars Kazan, Markov expressed interest in the 2019 offseason to return to the Habs. However, the Canadiens elected not to offer the then 40-year old defenceman a contract. Markov played his final pro season in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Andrei Markov was an NHL All-Star in 2008 and 2009. Markov’s career point totals with the Canadiens place him tied for second place in points by a defenceman with Guy Lapointe, well behind Larry Robinson (883 points). Although Markov, given his age, may not have been long for the Canadiens at the time of his departure, the contract dispute with Andrei Markov left a formidable hole on the left side of the Canadiens defence, a hole that has not yet been fully resolved by GM Marc Bergevin to this date.