By Rene Roy
Well yesterday we got some, but unfortunately, its bad.
When asked about the readiness of star defenseman Andrei Markov, GM Pierre Gauthier had this to say:
"If the season started tomorrow, he would not be available to us. We hope he'll be ready for opening night against the Leafs, but no guarantees. I have guarded optimism for the team's chances this season."
Latest word is Markov has water on the knee.
Like so many other Habs fans, I have been holding onto hope for quite some time that Markov would be back. And he certainly might be. But there are so many questions surrounding him that one can't help but wonder what he will be like when he does.
Let me share with you a little story.
My sister is a huge Markov fan. When he returned last year, for those all-too-brief seven games, she was ecstatic.
Then he went into the boards and that was that. Again.
Immediately, my mouth took over, and I blurted out something to the effect that he needs to be dumped - i.e. traded.
Well flash forward to this summer, and the Habs sign him to a three year deal. Now, I did not like this deal when it happened, simply due to the fact that Markov has not played for us for the better part of two whole seasons. After all, could we not have invested the money elsewhere instead of using it during the regular season to rent players?
Wisniewski anyone? Anyone?
I have only recently begun to immerse myself back in the world of hockey, having fallen away from it for many years. And since I did, all I have been hearing from Habs fans worldwide, is how good Markov is.
But here's the thing...He's not.
How can you call a player good when he doesn't play? That's when you call a player an ex-player.
I know, I know, its not his fault, but really, - and lets be honest here - so what? Hockey is a big business, and if you cant play, then why stay?
There are so many other young players out there, that I feel it was totally unjustified of the Habs to offer a contract of three years out, when they weren't even sure he was healthy.
By the way, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Josh Gorges have a very similar surgery around the same time as Markov? It might have only been his first compared to Markov's second, but yeah, he's ready to go.
There is no denying that Andrei Markov used to be a top shelf D-man in the NHL. There is no denying he has had a bad couple of injuries. There is also no denying that he has been nothing but a paperweight to the Montreal Canadiens for more than two years.
I could be proven wrong with this.Who knows? He might be topnotch ready for the beginning of the season. But at this point, regardless of whether he is or not, I think he has to go.
There are many quality defensemen around the league who are healthier, younger and/or better than the current Markov. Christian Erhoff would have been interesting in a Habs uniform for sure. Maybe we can get someone who can actually hit the ice and earn that 17 million dollars instead.
What do you think? Am I crazy for wanting a star level D-man who can play? Or will he be back JUST to prove me wrong?
HfxHabby grew up just outside of Montreal and learned early on to love the Habs. His earliest hockey memory is seeing Steve Penney play in nets.Hfxhabby is currently training his young son to be a Habs fan, to his wife's dismay. He can still name every player on the '93 Cup-winning Canadiens.
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America)