NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2017
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,