Andrei Markov had hoped to return to the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens this season after spending the past two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, but that will not happen, general manager Marc Bergevin said Monday.
The 40-year-old defenseman played all 16 seasons in his NHL career with the Canadiens before signing in the KHL prior to the 2017-18 season.
“We have some young kids pushing and as far as where Andrei was two years ago, where our team was two years ago, things have changed,” Bergevin said at the Canadiens annual golf tournament. “And now we’re going, you know I call it a reset, refresh, and we did that, and now we’re going to keep in that direction.”nfl nike jersey cheap
In an interview with RDS, Bergevin mentioned three young defensemen who are ready for an opportunity this season: Victor Mete, who is 21 and has played 120 games the past two seasons; Noah Juulsen, who is 22 and was selected by Montreal in the first round (No. 26) of the 2015 NHL Draft; and Josh Brook, the No. 56 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft who is 20 years old.
“Two years ago, [Markov’s] contract was due, we made an offer,” Bergevin told RDS. “Efforts were made to sign it and he chose another direction that was the KHL. It was two years ago.
“Since that time things have changed. The player has aged. The organization has changed direction. We have a lot of young people growing up … we really want to give our young people a chance.”
Markov, who had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 49 games for Kazan in the KHL last season, said in early August his goal was to play for the Canadiens this season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
“That’s my dream, you know,” Markov said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette. “But it’s not up to me. We’ll see … we’ll see what’s going to happen. I’ll train hard and prepare myself. But it’s not just my decision.”
Markov said he was seeking a one-year contract in what likely would be his final professional season. He also said he had no bad feelings over leaving the Canadiens following the 2016-17 season.
“Whatever happened at that time, it happened,” Markov said. “I’m not against [Bergevin]. I always loved the team, loved the city, and I always will. But like I said, whatever happened that time … that’s life, you know.”