Andrei Markov held a press conference on Thursday afternoon, organized by the Montreal Canadiens, to announce his departure from the team. He started off the press conference with a “Bonjour” and then gave a pre-written statement.
Markov opening statement: "Never been nervous like this. Not even on my wedding day."— Sean Coleman (@SColemanUFA) July 27, 2017
Andrei Markov: "Today I had to make a difficult decision, as you know I will not be back with the Canadiens next season." #TSN690— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) July 27, 2017
Markov "A lot of history was made here, and to be a part of it was something special. Dream was to always win the Cup and bring it to MTL"— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) July 27, 2017
In typical Markov fashion, even though you could tell he was having a hard time getting through his written statement, he still managed to fit in one of his typical dry-wit jokes.
"You guys made me uncomfortable for so many years. I will miss you so much." - Andrei Markov to the media.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 27, 2017
"I'm sad to leave but I guess it's time." ex-#Habs defenceman Andrei Markov— Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) July 27, 2017
"I'd like to thank the fans for supporting me for over the last 16 years. I will never forget you." - Andrei Markov— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 27, 2017
At the start of question time he made it clear that he didn’t want to get into detail regarding the negotiations, but slowly and surely some drips of information started to come out.
Markov: "It is tough. I made it clear I wanted to stay for rest of my career. It's a business. I don't blame anyone." #TSN690— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) July 27, 2017
First of all he made the announcement that he wasn’t retiring.
Markov: "I am not planning on retiring any time soon. Don't worry about that, guys." #TSN690— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) July 27, 2017
A two-year contract was his desire for the security of his family, saying that he still feels good and he was ready to stay in Montreal. As the negotiation continued he let it be known that he was willing to sign a one year deal, but it didn’t work.
"I was ready to stay in Montreal, I was ready and willing to sign a one-year deal. It didn't work" - Andrei Markov. Boom goes the dynamite.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 27, 2017
The Montreal Canadiens wanted to wait until September or October before deciding on bringing him back. Markov’s decision to leave was made a few days ago because he wanted to provide stability for his family, notably knowing where his kids would go to school.
Markov said he had NHL options or could have waited to September or October to see how things played out but decided to go to the KHL.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 27, 2017
He doesn’t hold anyone accountable, and calls it a business decision. He does have other options. He has spoken with other teams.
Then he dropped a bombshell that he was going to continue his career in the KHL because, although he had some options in the NHL, he couldn’t see himself wearing another jersey. He knows which team he will be playing with in the KHL, but the contract is not yet signed, so he didn’t want to mention what team it was.
Markov is going back to Russia to play in the KHL.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 27, 2017
Markov said decision to play in KHL is based on family and also that he couldn't see himself playing for another NHL team.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 27, 2017
Then the question of Olympic participation came up, noting that it would be a dream for him to win Olympic gold for Russia.
Markov knows where he is going to sign in the KHL but won't say where. Still has to put pen to paper.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) July 27, 2017
Would like to play in Olympics.
Markov is not closing the door to a return to the NHL, and more specifically to the Montreal Canadiens, which was Tweeted out by the Canadiens themselves.
"I'm not closing the door. But, today I'm going back to Russia." - Markov on possibly returning to Montreal in the future— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 27, 2017