Rabid Habs

The Forum: Good-bye Markov… Now What?

Andrei Markov showed up in Russia to join Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL as part of his new two-year deal, grabbing a Montreal Canadiens bag off the luggage carousel, and giving us one final glimpse of The General and the CH logo. Our contributors reflect on the conclusion of the 16-year Andrei Markov era in Montreal, how Marc Bergevin handled it, and what it means for your Montreal Canadiens now.

 

Ian Boisvert (@Boisvertian) – I’m lost. I am truly lost. I can’t find a plausible scenario where we overcome The General’s absence. Without Markov in the fold, there is a huge hole at the 1LD position. I am in despair considering that we’ll most likely see an Alzner-Weber pairing. From experience, Montreal benefitted from maintaining versatility on all defensive pairings. What I mean by that is that there was always a shutdown defender and an offensive catalyst on the same line for all three defensive duos. Unfortunately, due to our ailing defense, we may have to put Alzner and Weber together as they are our only viable options on the 1st pairing. I’d certainly wouldn’t be inclined to catapult Jakub Jerabek or David Schlemko on the 1st pairing.

Nonetheless, I am optimistic knowing that MB has an abundance of cap to play around with. What he does with it remains unknown. We just need a formidable piece to make this team even better.

Sean O’Neill (@TheONeillFactor) – I’ll be the first to admit that I probably never fully appreciated Markov the way most Habs fans did.

More consistent than spectacular, and just half-a-notch below the truly elite DMen of his era, he (along with Saku) was nonetheless oftentimes the lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable era for the Habs.

The bad news is that this era of mediocrity (24 years and counting!) is now far more likely to extend into the foreseeable future given that Dear Leader Bergevin decided, in his infinite wisdom, not to re-sign #79.

I could, of course, be wrong. If Bergevin is able to use the roughly $9 million in remaining cap space to swing a deal for the long-awaited 1C, then perhaps not bringing Markov back was the right move. Until that time, however, a team that has won 1 playoff round in the last three seasons is noticeably weaker than it was at the end of last season.

Kyle Roussel (@kyleroussel) – A shame that it ended this way, without a proper sendoff from the fans, and just 10 games short of 1000. Markov’s statement that he wanted 2 years but would have settled for 1 makes Bergevin look *really* bad considering he desperately needs what Markov brings, and has the cap space to afford it.

Markov will go down as one of the great Habs d-men of all time, and rightfully so. One can only imagine what may have been had he not suffered so many bad knee injuries over the years.

Antoine Mathieu (@HabsoluteTruth) – I’m beyond frustrated. I really have no idea as to what Bergevin’s plan is. I would have somewhat understood the decision if Markov wasn’t willing to budge on the two year term but he made it clear on his press conference that he was willing to take a one year deal. So unless Markov was demanding a ridiculous amount, which I doubt, like 7.5M, then there is ABSOLUTELY zero reason that he’s not coming back this year. It’s absolutely mind boggling that we will go next season with one of Alzner, Schlemko, Jerabek or Morrow on the top pairing. This summer has been a total failure and I hope that Molson’s blind faith in our current management is coming to an end before he does more damage. Sure Markov never really delivered in the playoffs (partly because we were overworking him) but his detractors will realize how important he was to this team even at his age.

Thank you Markov, for your time served on this team, you were loyal to this team and it’s not your fault that your tenure has come to an end. I will miss your vision on the PP and the memories you brought when this team was mediocre.