The Upper Canadien
(An aside before I digress into off-season discussion: I will be joining Mick Kern on the War Room Review tomorrow on XM NHL Satelittle Radio at 11 AM EST. Tune in for some free agency discussion as we review the NHL season that was. )
Andrei Markov is a Montreal Canadien for three more years. Was there ever any doubt? Yes, there was, given the two major knee surgeries in a year and two consecutive seasons plagued by injuries. However, Markov is an elite defenceman, and injuries or not, he was a player Pierre Gauthier could not allow to leave for nothing. Markov is back, and Montreal’s defence remains a strength on a team of questions. Looking for answers? Here’s the Upper Canadien’s off-season game plan for the Montreal Canadiens.
As per the Team 990’s Tony Marinaro, and as seen on RDS’s webpage as of a few minutes ago, the Montreal Canadiens and Andrei Markov have agreed on a two year deal worth $11.5 million.
More information available (en Francais) here: Markov returns for two years?
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail seems to think so:
One final thought on rookie Marchand: How come when he abuses a superstar he’s applauded by Hockey Night in Canada and the media as a savvy kid who gets under the skin to win. But when Montreal Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban did the same, we were told by the same voices that he was a punk with no respect who needed to be taken down a notch? Is it because Marchand is a Bruin, a sacred squad on Hockey Night, because Sedin is a European or because Marchand is white while Subban is black, or all of the above. Take all the time you need to answer.
Interesting to see Dowbiggin broach a subject that many Habs fans have been simmering with all year.
The New York Daily News has added fuel to the fire, suggesting that Jaromir Jagr will “likely wind up with the Canadiens.”
More here: Jagr to Habs?
It’s all preliminary, but Pierre Lebrun has confirmed via Twitter that Jagr’s new agent Petr Svoboda (yes, the former Hab) has confirmed talks with the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens:
Real_ESPNLeBrun Pierre LeBrun
Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda told me Detroit and Montreal, as already reported elsewhere, among teams they’ve spoken to
Jagr, or “Yammy” as Don Cherry always calls him, used to say he loved playing in Montreal. Could we see him lining up with Plekanec in the fall? Svoboda says a decision could come this weekend.
You deserve it. Well done. It pains me to think of how happy Jack Edwards must be today, but there you have it.
It was a tough series for Habs fans. Vigneault vs. Julien. Higgins, Lapierre, Ryder, Recchi. Quite a few ex-Canadiens, many from recent years. Tough to swallow. But interesting to see that they all made significant contributions to the series. Some for more honourable reasons than others perhaps, but contributions nonetheless.
As most have heard by now, the Montreal Canadiens re-upped Andrei Kostitsyn for a year at $3.25 million, Mathieu Darche for a year at $700,000, and rumours emanating from Russia suggest they’ve also signed Brock Trotter, who bolted from Hamilton last year for the KHL.
Kostitsyn and Darche are likely to take similar roles to last year, Kostitsyn flanking Tomas Plekanec on the second line while Darche chips in as a valuable fourth line forward.
However, where could Trotter fit?
As rumoured yesterday by, uh, the Canadiens’ very own official Twitter account, Hal Gill is staying a Hab. The text of the Canadiens press release follows.
In a first, as far as I can recall, on Twitter, the official site of a hockey team has posted a “rumour” - and I have to believe that means it’s probably going to happen.
CanadiensMTL Montreal Canadiens
According to multiple reports, Hal Gill is close to signing a one-year deal with the Habs.
Should be a great final. A few ex-Habs scattered amongst both teams. In my opinion, Vancouver has the edge from the defence out, but goalies will determine the series. Can’t wait to see it get going.
More Habs off-season news and thoughts will be coming in the next few weeks. Until then, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. These two teams will put on a show.
About The Upper Canadien
The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.
I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.
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