Markov, Canadiens officially part ways; veteran heads home to Russia

After 16 years, and nearly 1,000 games played, with the Canadiens, veteran defenseman Andrei Markov is heading home to Russia.

Markov and the club failed to reach an agreement on a new contract, and the 38-year-old, who represented himself in negotiations, decided he had no interest in uprooting his family to move temporarily to another NHL city. Instead, Markov announced that he will play in the KHL next season, though he did not reveal for which team since he has yet to formally sign a contract.

Winnipeg’s need for a veteran presence in net was must-fill this summer, and Mason is about as average as any other option. But why Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff felt compelled to pay him $4.1 million per annum, a price that far exceeded the market value filled with other comparables, was a bit confusing.

The 29-year-old was 39th in the NHL last season in save percentage (.908) and has won 30 games only twice in his career. Brian Elliott, who trades places with Mason in Philly, and Jonathan Bernier (both at $2.75M AAV) were better values.

If Alzner’s contract is the biggest overpayment of free agency, there have certainly Detroit Tigers Cheap Jerseys been far worse in recent years. Nothing flashy, he’s a solid defenseman who has been about as dependable as they come in nine NHL seasons. But the Canadiens now have nearly $30 million tied up in four players China Cheap Jerseys through 2020-21 — Alzner, Price, Shea Weber and Jeff Petry — and limited cap room to address their scoring woes.

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