Andrei Markov is a 34-year-old Russian defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens. Markov was drafted in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round being picked 168th overall. In Russia, Markov was known as one of the best blueliners and in 2000 he moved to North America to play for Montreal Canadiens and pretty much has been on the team for the last 15 years.
In 2007 Markov was supposed to be an unrestricted free agent but he got lucky and signed a four year contract with the Montreal Canadiens. His first season with his long contract, Markov played 82 games scoring 16 goals while assisting 42 times. It was also his first year he was selected for his first NHL all-star game as a starter.
A year later Markov’s luck started going downhill. At the start of October 2009 Markov collided with Carey Price’ skate and suffered a lacerated ankle. All athletes know that some of the worst injuries to ever come back from are the legs, knees or ankles. The reason being is those ligaments are overworked and any wrong move can make them worse especially if the athlete does not take the needed time to rest. Markov was supposed to be off the ice for five months but with all the physiotherapy, he managed to make an early recovery and returned to the ice two months earlier than expected.
His fast recovery was a good sign for Habs fans. They don’t want to see one of their best players out on injury, or any of their players in that matter. His first game back broke a losing streak and he scored two goals in the game. The rest of the season had its ups and downs until they reached the playoffs.
During the playoffs that April after his previous ankle injury, Markov suffered another injury on the ice. He collided knee to knee with Pittsburgh Penguins player Matt Cooke. He was out for the rest of the playoffs and he took the summer to recover from yet another difficult injury.
The next season he came back strong. It was his last chance to show he has what it takes to remain on the team. His strong seven game play took another bad turn. He collided with Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes. He injured his knee and was forced to have surgery a month later. He was out for the rest of the season.
His luck changed when he signed a three year contract extension. Though Markov only played his first game of the 2011-2012 season on March of 2012. Ever since those injuries he played a fair amount of games with the Canadiens but his record of goals and assists have been suffering. That was until the 2012-2013 season when he played all 48 games. He scored 10 goals and recorded 20 assists.
As I said, injuries are hard to come back from. When you do have a comeback especially an early one you are still prone to more injuries. Markov suffered three bad injuries in a three year span. For a professional athlete dealing with injuries can have their credibility lost. When the trades/free agents come a lot of teams will ignore the older injury prone players and go for the young raw talent who they think will be a better match for the team.
This upcoming season is Markov’s last season under contract with the Montreal Canadiens and many people think he should consider retiring. All of his injuries in the past make him more likely to suffer new injuries in the future. So after this next season ends the question remains: should the Canadiens should re-sign him, will he be sent to another team or should he consider retirement?
When Markov is on the ice and giving his 100% he is a very good player and his points show that. I believe if he remains in good health and keeps scoring and assisting points at an appropriate level similar to his previous years, Markov will stay with the Canadiens. If he does it will be a one to two year contract because of his age and in case he has further injuries. As well, because he has been a part of the team for about 15 years, I have a hard time seeing him going to another team. So if they don’t re-sign him he will probably retire or go back and play in Russia.
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