HabsWorld.net -- 

He didn’t sign quite as early as he did four years ago in this same situation
but Andrei Markov has signed a three year extension with the Habs.  The
deal is believed to be worth $17.25 million, or a cap hit of $5.75 million per
year, the same amount he earned on his previous contract.  The contract is
believed to have at least a full no-trade clause though that is unofficial at
this time.

Markov was selected by Montreal 162nd overall back in 1998 as a centreman
before being shifted to the blueline.  He has spent his entire career with
the organization.  Last season, he played in just seven games after
returning from a knee injury.  He had three points in those contests before
suffering another season ending knee injury.  Prior to these last two
seasons, he was very durable as he averaged 79 GP in the three prior years.

In 623 career games, the Russian blueliner has 81 goals and 285 assists with
361 PIMS and a +31 rating.  His offensive numbers haven’t been quite as
impressive in the postseason though as he has collected just 18 points (3-15-18)
in 49 games.  One thing to note, though the contract will take him past age
35, this is not a 35+ contract like Jaroslav Spacek is on.

The Habs now have roughly $49.5 million in committed payroll for next season
with 10 forwards, 5 defenceman, and goalie Carey Price signed.  This gives
them just under $15 million in cap space with the league announcing an upper
limit of $64.3 million for the 2011-12 season.