Former Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov retires

After a long and successful 25-year career, former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov has hung up his skates, according to Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko.

Markov spent the last three years in the KHL after leaving the Canadiens at the end of the 2016-17 season. He made 23 regular-season appearances for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl this season and played in all six games of their first-round loss in the Gagarin Cup playoffs; the KHL then shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

His decision to retire comes after Lokomotiv reportedly opted not to extend his contract. 

The Russian was a stalwart on Montreal’s blue line for 16 seasons, playing in 990 games, the sixth-most in franchise history. An assistant captain his last three years, he finished with 572 points (119 goals, 453 assists) and ranks sixth in all-time assists for the storied franchise.

Markov told the Montreal Gazette last summer that he was hoping to end his career with the team but an offer never materialized.

“Whatever happened at that time, it happened,” he said. “I always loved the team, loved this city and I always will. But, like I said, whatever happened that time … that’s life, you know.”

His career accolades include being named to the All-Star team twice in both the NHL (2008 and 2009) and the KHL (2013 and 2018), as well as winning the KHL’s Gargarin Cup with Ak Bars Kazan in 2018.

Internationally, he won silver (1998) and bronze (1997) medals for Russia at the IIHF World Junior Championships and two bronze medals at the IIHF World Championships (2005, 2007) before finally earning a gold medal in 2008. 

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