Andrei Markov - D
6'0" 207 lbs
2011-12 Stats 13GP- 0G- 3A- 13Pts- -4
Andrei Markov is heading into year two of a three year contract worth $5.75 million.
When signed, many felt it was a crazy deal seeing as how his knee had caused him to miss all but seven games in 2010-11 . In 2009-10, he played a scant 37 games only to be re-injured in the playoffs, limiting him to eight games during their unexpected playoff run which saw them reach the conference finals, where they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in five games.
However, in the 45 games Markov appeared in that season, he earned 34 points with a +11 rating. Markov even had four points in his limited playoff presence.
It's no secret that if Markov can stay healhy he will be worth every penny.
With Markov limited to just 13 games, it's tough to gauge his performance. The team was 4-3-6 with him in the lineup but was also without goaltender Carey Price for nine of those contests.
Even if you put aside the fact that the team was playing without it's starting goaltender — and that the team was capping off a season from hell — it's hard to fully rate his performance.
After missing such a significant amount of time on the ice it takes time, even for someone with Markov's talent, to get back into the swing of things. Markov did average 18:00 minutes of ice time upon his return but is more used to around 24:00 minutes per game.
If healthy, Markov will have an impact at both ends of the ice. As the top powerplay unit's quarterback, his unique vision, accurate passing and trademark backdoor slot rush will no doubt improve the team's effectiveness with the extra man.
Markov will have quite a few possibilities of partners along the blueline when the season opens in October against the Senators.
The veteran blueliner has had plenty of success in the past with Josh Gorges and will more than likely be teamed with him again. However it's fun to picture him patrolling the back end with fellow Russian, Alexei Emelin.
With Markov's experience and hockey I.Q., Emelin would be free to step out of posistion on occassion to crush an opposing player knowing that he's got one of the league's best watching his back.
Subban would be another possibility, although their offensive similarities will more than likely keep them from being partnered up. The two should see some time together on the PP though with Markov setting P.K. up for some ridiculously wound up one-timers.
What are your thoughts on Markov? Who would you like to see him paired with, and will he live up to his price tag?
Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Andrei Markov - D