Do the Habs Keep or Trade Andrei Markov by Jamie Gilcig – You Decide!

markovCFN– Asset management in the cap age is critical to any NHL team’s success.   You have to get value whether it be via a players contract versus their output or long term planning.   Sometimes you don’t mind paying a premium if it’s for a quality that your team needs, but never long term and never for something you can easily replace.

Long time Hab D man Andrei Markov is a test for Habs GM Marc Bergevin.   While Montreal is hovering with a play off spot after last year’s end of season plunge and early play off demise there has to be concern, especially with the team not really addressing the needs of this year.

Frankly this season has been a lucky one for Montreal.  It’s point total’s are greater than its overall performance.

While Carey Price had a great Olympics his season this year has not been his finest and while his over all numbers are good it’s the impact that he’s had that has some questioning.  Too many untimely goals.   The bigger question is whether it’s the goalie or the D in front of him?

PK Subban is having a fine year and will either be getting a big fat raise or there will be clouds on the horizon for Habs fans.   While the team can trade him they certainly cannot replace him.

That brings us to the Markov situation.     Ottawa recently went through something similar when it let an aging Sergei Gonchar walk.   While Gonchar’s numbers declined with age, some things can’t be quantified even in this day of micro statistical observations by fat guys in basements with too much time on their hands.

Erik Karlsson’s season didn’t take off until Ottawa addressed the loss of Gonchar, in this case bringing up 1st rounder Cody Ceci which has worked out really well.

In Markov’s case his asking price is not that steep at $6M per.  The question is the amount of years.   Gonchar headed to Dallas at the age of 39 with a two year $10M contract.   The Islanders Andy MacDonald is looking for those kind of numbers and he’s not putting up as good numbers getting number one ice time.

Can it be as easy as simply giving Markov 2 years at $6M?    It might; but is Montreal at a stage where that’s the best move?   They clearly still are a team in flux with a lot of shiny bits and bobs and pieces, but what is the team’s core?

Is it Carey Price, PK Subban, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec (who doesn’t get enough respect) and maybe Brendan Gallagher?

I’m not sure and only the Hab’s brass can answer that.

Is Montreal ready for a deep play off run?  Not really with the squad.   While Price can get hot they are weak up front and have a few question marks on D.

What can Montreal get for Markov?  Well they can easily get a 1st and a NHL player and top prospect, and that certainly could help long term; but it also could leave a hole and possibly hurt the development of some of the younger defensemen.

Montreal could do a side move; say trade a Markov to Dallas and bring in Gonchar who has one year left at $5M which would give them a minor downgrade and bring back an Erik Cole who besides having had previous success with Pacioretty and Desharnais has had a few good play off runs.   His $4.5 cap for next year isn’t poison for what he brings to the tank as the Habs have missed his productive year with them and his physicality.

Or Montreal can resign him up for two years.

Do the Habs Trade or Keep Andre Markov?

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