The Montreal Canadiens have several big decisions to make this summer and one of them has been made. Their defense is starting to look more solid as they were able to sign 35-year-old Andrei Markov to a three-year extension. The exact financial terms were undisclosed but CapGeek.com shows his salary cap hit to be $5.75 million.
“We are very happy to have secured a long term agreement with Andrei,” Canadiens GMMarc Bergevin said . “He is an important part of our group of core players. He is healthy, shows a very good work ethic and has great leadership skills. He plays big minutes against the top opponents, and game-changing defensemen of his caliber are hard to find.”
Keeping Markov is huge for Montreal as he has been a workhorse on the blue line. The dependable defenseman was one of 11 players to average 25 or more minutes last season. He was also dependable on the power play, where he scored 21 of his 43 points in 2013-14 with the man advantage. It’ll be a stretch to imagine him keeping up that type of productivity going forward, but he should be able to as long as he can stay healthy. If there’s anything for Canadiens fans to be concerned, it is the final year of his contract. His kind of cap hit will make it difficult to trade if his performance is dropping off by then.
Their next big task is to re-sign 2013 Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban. The star defenseman is a restricted free agent this summer and he will command a large contract. He made $3.75 million last season (but his cap hit was $2.875 million), so it should be expected he will be making somewhere near $5 million per season.