Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/03/11 at 11:54 AM ET
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
It isn’t because he owes something to his teammates, who have kept the Canadiens close to a playoff spot in his absence. Nobody will admit Markov’s absence has been a distraction, but it has to be in the back of everyone’s mind that - while a healthy Markov won’t cure all the Canadiens’ ills - the defence will be better and so will the anemic power play. It means Yannick Weber can concentrate on being Mark Streit Light, that Tomas Plekanec won’t be wasting his time on the point on power plays, and Alexei Emelin can be tutored on the finer points of the game in his own language.
And it isn’t because Markov feels a debt to the Canadiens, who showed their faith in his recuperative powers in the off-season when they signed him to a three-year deal worth $17.25 million.
Markov should return because he owes it to himself. He’s a man of few words, but you can hear the passion in his voice when he expresses his frustration over not playing. You could see the joy in his expression the day he rejoined his teammates at practice.
Hockey is a major part of his life and, while there will be some anxiety the first time he steps on the ice for a game, the only way to know he’s ready is to test the knee in battle.
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