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One of Bergevin's toughest decisions this summer will be whether or not to re-sign defenseman Andrei Markov.
The 35-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He is coming off a solid season which saw him score 43 points, 21 on the power play, in 81 games. He was also a team-high plus-12 while leading the Canadiens in ice time with 25:14 per game.
Markov stated his desire to remain in Montreal back in March with a statement from his agent, as reported by ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun:
“I can’t say much, we agreed not to say much, but talks are ongoing and Andrei wants to stay in Montreal,” agent Sergei Berezin said. “We’ll see where it goes. He’s played 13 seasons with Montreal. He wants to finish his career in Montreal.”
Now the big question is whether Bergevin wants him to stay in Montreal.
There is no questioning Markov's importance to the squad: He plays big minutes at both ends of the ice and is a veteran presence on the blue line.
But will his contract demands exceed his worth?
He'll probably be looking for a three-year deal in the $5-6 million-per-year range. That's a lot of time and money to invest in someone who is heading into the twilight of his career.
As stated earlier, the Canadiens have just four d-men signed on to the back end for 2014-15. Subban will be the fifth, but that means Montreal still needs a few more before training camp begins.
Will Markov be one of them?
Bergevin will surely re-sign Markov if the price is right, but the veteran will be looking to cash in on his excellent 2014-15 season for one more big pay day. Making a decision on whether to bring him back will be one of Bergevin's toughest this offseason.