Opinion: It's Time for Marc Bergevin to Come Crawling Back to Andrei Markov

Most hockey insiders and even fans of the Canadiens can agree the Habs are not going to be good this year. However, Marc Bergevin seems ti the otherwise as he appears to have the "playoffs or bust"mentality. Of course a day later it was announced that star defence-man Shea Weber would be out until January to a knee injury. With their defence looking like a dumpster fire and few options to really help in terms of UFAs, it's time Bergevin swallows his pride and give Andrei Markov a call. Here's why:

1. Montreal lifer
Markov has spent his entire NHL career (990 games) playing only for the Canadiens,and he wouldn't have it any other way. After being shoved aside at the end of the 2017 season and left to free-agency, Markov decided not to sign with another NHL team (reports had Philadelphia and Nashville interested). Former defensive partner P.K. Subban even suggested to Markov he should join him, and Alexei Emelin (another former Canadiens teammate) on the Predators, but Markov refused because he would only play for Montreal. That kind of loyalty is rare, especially in this era where salary and term mean almost everything to players.

2. Baron LD position
The Canadiens may have tons of left-handed defence-men on their current roster (Alzner, Schlemko, Benn, Mete, Ouellet, Reilly), but just how good are these players? Younger players like Reilly, Ouellet and Mete are young and have room to grow, but shouldn't have to log top-2 minutes. Alzner is a 2nd pairing shut-down defence-man. Schlemko and Benn are depth.

The point I'm making here is while the Canadiens have a lot of left-handed defence-men,they do not have anyone who can really take on a top-pairing role. Markov on the other hand, played on the top pairing with Shea Weber back in 2016-17,was one of the top defence-men in the KHL this year, and helped his team to the Gagarin cup in 2018. Don't let his age fool you, Markov is still a very serviceable player.

3. They have the cap space
Once again the Canadiens appear to be finished with their major off-season additions and still have enough cap space to take on a contract the size of Connor McDavid's. They've already shown they are willing to take on bad contracts (Steve Mason, which they immediately bought out for whatever reason), so why not try to sign Markov?

4. Markov wants to come back
When Markov chose to leave for the KHL, it was said that he was looking for 2-years at 6 million per year, but was apparently willing to accept a 1-year deal. Bergevin chose not to offer him a new contract and the two parties went their separate ways. However, David Pagnotta from "TheFourthPeriod" reported that in November of 2017, Markov told Marc Bergevin that he was not enjoying his time in the KHL, and wished to return to Montreal. He told Bergevin he was willing to accept a 1-year contract, but Bergevin refused to entertain the offer. At that point Bergevin still believed the Canadiens could make the playoffs, had just under 10 million in cap space, a hole to fill in the LD position, and was about to lose Victor Mete to the world junior championship. I believe this was simply an example of Bergevin being to proud to go back and get Markov.

5. 990 games? Come on Marc
Few players make it to the 1,000 NHL game milestone, and even fewer can do that with a single team. Markov is just 10 games shy, was a fan favorite in Montreal, and a quiet leader for the Canadiens. How is signing him to a 1-year deal a bad idea?

Here are Pagnotta's tweets: 

Should Montreal bring Markov back? Comment below

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