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Andrei Markov is not expected to sign a contract today

Markov is expected to exit the first day of free agency without an NHL deal.

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Testing free agency for the first time, it seems Andrei Markov isn’t ready to commit to a new contract just yet.

After the Montreal Canadiens gave a significant contract to Karl Alzner while reportedly trying to keep a space open for Carey Price’s contract that kicks in in 2018-19, it’s tough to see how they can fit anything more than a one-year contract for their star defender while also addressing other areas of organizational need, particularly at centre. Markov seems to be adamant for a two-year pact, and that appears to be the main sticking point in negotiations.

There’s no denying Markov’s skill set, especially at the offensive end of the rink, and you’d have to expect that there is a team willing to meet his multi-year demands, even at 38 years of age.