Montreal Canadiens: Let’s Talk About Loyalty

 

A quote from Markov’s press conference covered by @ArponBasu

On July 2nd, 2017, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said in regards to Alex Radulov’s contract negotiations, “If you want loyalty, buy a dog”. In essence, Bergevin is correct. Hockey players are human, and they will ask for what they deserve, as well as what the free agent market determines they are worth. The Radulov situation was a trying situation for Canadiens fans, as well as management, but what unfolded was not 100 per cent Bergevin’s fault. Both sides were guilty of stubbornness, and what’s done is done.

 

However, I’m not here to talk about Radulov. What was announced today is an embarrassment to the Canadiens organization. Andrei Markov will not be returning to the Canadiens for next season, and instead will be heading home to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Willing to go down to one year in his contract demands, Markov’s time as a Hab ends over the barrier that Bergevin made a big deal out of several times.

“I didn’t see myself with any other NHL team. I didn’t see myself wearing another jersey.” – Andrei Markov

So, let’s chat about loyalty, shall we? Markov has been a member of this team since his draft day in 1998 and is currently tied for 2nd all-time in Canadiens defensive scoring. 990 games played with this organization, and the vast majority of them was when the Canadiens were awful in the mid-2000’s. For many years, Markov could have left and bolted to a contender in free-agency, but no, he showed LOYALTY to the organization and put the Canadiens ahead of anything else. He took hometown discounts, again and again, to stay with the Canadiens, and this is how it ends?

JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Canadiens management has a history of pulling stunts like this, Patrick Roy, P.K Subban, and now Markov. This isn’t just about the loss of a modern Canadiens legend (this isn’t an exaggeration). Markov is still needed on this team. Who exactly will be moving the puck out of the zone? Alzner? Schlemko? Petry? Price? The lack of mobility on the Canadiens defensive end was exposed in the playoffs, and that was with Markov!

 

 

If $6 million dollars was enough to say goodbye to one of the greatest players the Canadiens have had in the 2000’s era, then fine. If Bergevin thinks he’s going to find a player to replace Markov’s value before the season starts without giving up significant assets and setting this team back further than it already is, good luck.

Montreal lost a great player, as well as a great person today. I hope every fan of the Canadiens is wishing Markov well for the rest of his career. The KHL gained something great today. As for Bergevin, this loss is on you, and on you alone. The next time you speak of loyalty, think about today.

I hope I speak for the rest of the AllAboutTheHabs staff, as I wish Markov well, and hope he has a wonderful rest of his career in Russia.

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8 Responses to Montreal Canadiens: Let’s Talk About Loyalty

  1. at his press conference Markov said he would have signed a one year deal so this is all on that slime ball MB.He told the fans he would do a one year deal but quite obvious he lied to everyone. Markov is going to the KHL as he wants stability for his family and can not see himself wearing any jersey in the NHL except Montreal. the impression I got was that MB wanted him to hang around till Sept-Oct to see how things were going and when they fell apart he would then sign Markov.that is pretty low and totally disrespect to the man who was totally loyal for 16 years. MB true personality sure shown thru.

    bay bye July 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm Reply
    • This is the same way the New England Patriots manage … with their heads. Now, how successful have they been? Maybe Marc is smarter after all?

      Peter A July 27, 2017 at 8:55 pm Reply
  2. It is true that Markov has been a very good player & mentor. However, Habs management also stuck with him through thick & thin. To try to hold the Habs hostage is unfair ! He would have had many honours bestowed on him next season. Habs & Canada have been very good to Mr. Markov. MB has cap space to deal with and has not won with Markov, he is under pressure to win or at least to be a very real contender. Habs are probably one player away from being that team. Carey Price is a very good goaltender however he cannot win by himself. He is thinking team ! I suspect that Markov will be back next season, 18-19. Having been a habs fan for 60 years, I also am used to winning however i believe that MB is doing a good job. He also wants to win along with Mr. Molson & millions of other fans worldwide. Let us all hope that MB makes the deal that will put us over the top !

    Edouard July 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm Reply
    • MB did not have cap space and you missed where Markov said he would have taken a one year deal but MB did not offer it although he had everyone believing he did. we need Markov more then he needs us…at the end of last year he was our best dman and there is no one on this team that can replace him.there is no one to play with Weber and with Weber slowing down it will only get worse…he is going to the KHL as he can not see himself in any NHL uniform except Montreal. MB wanted him to hang around till sept-oct and if his D did not work out he would have signed him then..how is that for loyalty..it is not

      bay bye July 27, 2017 at 9:31 pm Reply
  3. Marc Bergevin is stubborn, dismissive, condescending, and arrogant. Oh, and did I forget? If you want loyalty, hire Markov, because the only ones Bergevin has been loyal to are his foxhole buddies. Quite the piece of work. Contrary to some, I believe he gas been a dud as a GM. We have seen good players leave – Subban, Pateryn,Condon, Andrighetto, Beaulieu, and now, Markov. We have seen others ruined as their heads were screwed with – Tinordi, Bournival, Sekac, and almost, Galchenyuk. And, oh yes, we have seen young talent stagnate and fail to realuze their potential….thanks to Bergevin’s misplaced loyalty to a buddy named, Sylvain Lefebvre. There’s a word for this management team : croneyism. However, loyalty to someone who has shown nothing but enduring loyalty to this team, is non-existent. You’re an ass, Marc….plain and simple.

    Bart Van Eyk July 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm Reply
  4. This is a continuing issue for me, a loyal fan for over 60 years. Plante, Lafleur, Robinson, Koivu, etc. and now Markov have all been dispatched for a variety of ‘reasons’! All could still play – and were all still needed. All were LOYAL! Bergevin, Gainey, etc. seem to have forgotten the meaning of the word. I wish Andrei the best. An unsung and under appreciated d-man for years!

    Dave July 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm Reply
  5. Marc Bergevin 101! Or is it the Montreal Canadiens organization 101??

    Maxman Williams July 29, 2017 at 12:37 am Reply
  6. That really says it all. What a disappointment and for certain a real shame to treat a player like that after giving so much to the team

    JRR July 29, 2017 at 4:31 pm Reply

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