Serious about a return to the NHL this season, veteran defenseman Andrei Markov has hired Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey as his new agent. Markov is training in Florida looking for an opportunity to resume his career in North America after two years in the KHL. Earlier this month the 40-year old explained he would love the chance to play once again for the Montreal Canadiens, but is looking at all his options.
Markov infamously represented himself in negotiations with the Canadiens in 2017 before leaving for the KHL, after former NHL player Sergei Berezin was decertified by the NHLPA. That negotiation broke down with some bitterness but it appears as though Markov is looking to take a different tack this time around. Walsh is one of the most successful agents in the hockey world and represents some of the top players in the entire league.
The question now is whether Markov has anything left to give to an NHL organization. With 990 games under his belt with the Canadiens across 16 seasons he definitely fills the experience quota, but there’s no telling whether he can still keep up with the NHL pace of play. Markov’s skating ability had slowed considerably even before he left for the KHL but thanks to a sharp mind and elite positioning he was still able to provide the Canadiens with quality minutes. In his final two years in Montreal he totaled 80 points in 144 games.
Last season in the KHL however, things seemed to catch up with him. Markov recorded just 14 points in 49 games for Kazan Ak-Bars despite still averaging more than 21 minutes a night. With just a few weeks left before training camp opens it will be interesting to see if he’s will to take a professional tryout in order to prove he can still compete at the NHL level.