Perhaps the biggest question facing the Montreal Canadiens this summer has been answered, as GM Marc Bergevin has come to terms on a deal with Andrei Markov, locking up the 35-year-old Russian blueliner for three more years.
It had leaked earlier in the week that Markov was seeking a three year deal at $6M per season, and according to Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse, he signed for just under that mark at $5.75M per season, the same contract he has signed the last two times he has been up for a new contract. The contract also includes a complete no trade clause in year one of the deal, with a limited no trade clause in the final two years, where Markov can pick 12 teams he would accept a deal to.
Markov's new contract will pay him $7M in 2014-15, $6M in 2015-16, and $4.25M in 2016-17.
This deal is fantastic news for the Canadiens, who have chosen to commit on a longer term to the longest serving current Hab, their second best defenseman, and assistant captain, at a very reasonable dollar.
With the cap increasing, and Sergei Gonchar's two year, $5M per season deal signed last summer at 39 years old, it wouldn't be unimaginable to see Markov get $7M per season or more on the open market.
The other nice bonus of this deal is it makes all the pundits who repeatedly stated that there was "no way the Canadiens would go to three years" look like idiots.
With Markov signed, the Canadiens have $19.69M in cap space left to spend, and the attention will likely turn to unrestricted free agent and captain Brian Gionta, before turning to P.K. Subban, who is still a restricted free agent.