Written by Habster

There are some media pundits or “experts” in Montreal who will question the dollar value that Bob Gainey gave to Andrei Markov (4 years/$23 million) with this new contract. I don’t profess to be in the media or call myself an expert but what I know is that the Montreal Canadiens paid Andrei Markov his true market value as a #1 defenseman on the Habs.
Let’s take a look at the yearly dollar value of other defensemen around the league:
  • Bryan McCabe $ 5.75 million ( g-15 a-42 57pt +3)
  • Zdeno Chara $7.3 million (g- 11 a-32 43pt -21)
  • Rob Blake $6 million (g-14 a-20 34pt -26)
  • Pavel Kubina $5 million (g-7 a-14 21pt +7)
  • Jay McKee $4 million (05-06 season: g-5 a-11 16pt 0)
  • Ed Jovanovski $6.5 million (54games: g-11 a-18 29pt -6)

When Markov’s agent, Don Meehan and Bob Gainey sat at the negotiation table with the above information, you can see why Mr. Gainey had little choice with regards to the salary figure. We can all argue that the Canadiens should not “pay the price” for other teams (insert: “Toronto Maple Leafs” here) bad negotiating but if the market is willing to pay a certain salary to players then teams have no choice.

Andrei Markov is a steady all round defenseman who averages 24:13 minutes of ice time per game and is the best break out/power play passing defenseman on the team. I would argue that he is also one of the best one on one defensemen in the NHL against any forward (just ask Aexander Ovechkin who stated such). Markov is the type of player who quietly makes his teammates better and is content to be in Montreal which is always an added bonus these days. If Andrei Markov had not been signed prior to July 1st, you can be sure that another team would have happily given him the same contract or more which would’ve left a huge hole to fill on defense.

Bob Gainey did what had to be done to maintain the current roster and now can focus his attention on trying to sign Sheldon Souray or other UFAs on July 1st. The Canadiens have some salary cap wiggle room but have to spend it smartly otherwise the on ice product won’t be vastly improved from last year.

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Rick is the Editor-in-Chief, lead contributor, and owner of the All Habs network of websites. His mission is to build a community of Canadiens fans who are informed, engaged and connected. He is the vision behind all four sites within the network - All Habs, Habs Tweetup, We Are Canadiens, and The Montreal Forum - and is responsible for the design and layout of each. In concert with the strong belief that "Habs fans are everywhere!", Rick is pleased that people use All Habs as a conduit to find and connect with other Habs fans worldwide. He is also proud that Habs Tweetups have allowed fans to meet in person and develop long lasting friendships.