Former NHL star Andrei Markov expects to play in the NHL next season and right now the question for the 40-year-old Russian is where he might play. However, one thing is quite clear. He has no intention of signing a player tryout (PTO).
Talking to Markov’s North American agent, Allen Walsh, TSN’s Melnick in the Afternoon, the agent made it clear that there are five teams that have expressed interest in the veteran blueliner’s services and he expects to sign a contract somewhere before training camp.
“Andrei and I have never even discussed a PTO and I’m expecting and I’m assuming that he’ll be signed to a contract before the start of training camp,” said Walsh. “We don’t feel any time pressure. I would expect that there will be something done before the start of training camp based on my discussions so far.”
The agent also made it clear that Markov wants to play on a winning team that has a chance to win a Stanley Cup title.
“He’s certainly looking to play on a team where there is a role for him,” said Walsh. “We believe that he can really help any team’s power play and that he can contribute meaningful 5-on-5 minutes. He can serve on as a veteran presence in the room and he’s always been known as a bit of a quiet guy, but he’s also been known as a quiet leader. He’s always been in amazing physical shape his entire career and he’s in great shape right now. He’s been training all summer. He’s looking to play for a team that has the potential to contend. He would love to win and be part of a winning season … He has a lot to offer to a team and he’s made it clear to me from the first minute that he called me that he desperately wants to play in the NHL next year.”
- While many players look at different avenues to improve their game, The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin (subscription required) writes that Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin has spent much of his summer in the video room analyzing his game in hopes of breaking his inconsistent play. Drouin reached out to assistant coach Dominique Ducharme and the two have been breaking down his game in hopes of unlocking the next level of his game. While possessed with incredible skills, Drouin has struggled to take his game to the next level like everyone expected him to do back when the Tampa Bay Lightning took him with the third-overall pick in 2013. While he did score 18 goals and tie a career-high of 53 points, many feel that he can do much better, especially if he can show more consistency. Perhaps the most interesting discovery was that Drouin wasn’t attacking through the inside of the slot often enough.
- Former Los Angeles Kings forward Nikita Scherbak might be looking for work once again. The 23-year-old forward signed a three-year deal with Avangard Omsk back in June, but according to a Russian website, omskinform.ru (translation required), Scherbak has been unimpressive in pre-season tournaments and the team may look to trade or even terminate his contract. Scherbak appeared in 37 NHL games, including eight with Los Angeles last season, but has not been able to retain a full-time role and didn’t even dominate in the AHL last season, scoring just 11 points in 23 games. If released, the 23-year-old could be looking for a new team.