NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2017

by | Jul 28, 2017 | News, NHL | 2 comments

Andrei Markov heading to the KHL.

Andrei Markov returning to Russia plus updates on Dwight King, Chris Neil & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: After 16 seasons, unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrei Markov won’t be returning to the Canadiens and won’t be signing with another NHL club. The 38-year-old blueliner intends to return to Russia and sign with a KHL team. He’s also hopeful of playing for Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Markov was reportedly seeking a two-year, $12 million contract.

Markov is just 10 games shy of 1,000 career NHL games, all with the Canadiens. He’s tied with Guy Lapointe for second among Habs defensemen in points (572) and is third all-time among their blueliners with 119 goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Markov isn’t completely closing the door on returning to the Habs one day. He was also apparently willing to accept a one-year contract from the Canadiens. I’ll have more on Markov’s situation and its effect upon the Habs offseason plans later this morning in the Rumors section. 

NBC SPORTS: Another former Hab, forward Dwight King, could also follow Markov to the KHL.  The Vancouver Canucks reportedly had “mild interest” in the 28-year-old, who played on two Stanley Cup winners with the Los Angeles Kings. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: King’s stock declined last season, especially after he was dealt to Montreal, where he had no positive effect as a playoff rental player for the Canadiens. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators enforcer Chris Neil remains confident he’ll be playing in the NHL in 2017-18. He reportedly decided to hold off on one offer in hopes of getting a better deal more suitable for him and his family. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a 38-year-old fading player, that’s a risky position to take. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Phil Di Giuseppe to a one-year, two-way contract paying him $725,000 on the NHL level.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres signed left wing Evan Rodrigues to a two-year, two-way contract, 



  1. Markov may not be “closing the door” on a return to Montreal one day – but I really doubt it will be as a player. He’ll turn 39 on Dec 20. He, Doan (41 on Oct 10), Iginla (turned 40 on July 1) and Jagr (turns 46 on Feb 15) all need to realize that careers don’t go on forever.

  2. I can understand Habs fans being upset about Markov not coming back, but this is one move Marc Bergevin can’t be blamed for. In the modern NHL, GM’s are forced to make tough calls like this. Committing to that type of contract would not have given Montreal a lot of cap flexibility, and they’re a team that still wants to add at least one more Top 6 forward to their team.

    I feel that Bergevin can’t win in this situation. If you meet his demands and keep him, they leave themselves very little room to make moves. And of course we are now starting to see the backlash from the Habs faithful after showing Markov the door.

    It was nothing personal, it’s not like Bergevin spat on Markov on his way out the door. The two could come to terms with a deal. From what I have read the last couple days, it sounds like Markov needed a very lucrative offer to stick around because of the Olympic’s. Markov is one of few players who probably have a very solid amount of control over their own fate. It simply came down to he needed $12 million to stay with Habs. While it does suck for the fans, it was the right thing to do.