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Markov’s Injury Sours Perfect Week

Posted By Louis Moustakas On Nov 14 2010 @ 10:34 pm In Montreal Canadiens | No Comments

Tomas Plekanec, Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn all had multi-point games, the powerplay clicked on three occasions and Carey Price was stellar once again. Normally, Saturday’s 7-2 trouncing of the Hurricanes should have been cause for celebration. However, the contest ended on a decidedly bitter note.

Near the end of the third period, Andrei Markov collided awkwardly with Eric Staal. As the two players were chasing a puck into a corner, they crossed each other and their knees collided. Markov’s right leg appeared to twist awkwardly, he threw his gloves off as he fell and punched the boards in frustration. By all accounts, he reinjured the same knee that needed surgery this summer after he hurt it during the playoffs. And now, for the third time in just over a year, Andrei Markov finds himself confronted with any potentially serious injury. While no details have been made available, Renaud Lavoie, from the French-language network RDS, suggests that the injury could keep him out for up to three months. Obviously, such claims are preliminary and more precise details will be made available in the coming days. Clearly though, between that report and Markov’s reaction following the injury, the situation does not look encouraging. For now, we know for certain that Markov will not dress versus the Flyers on Tuesday and that Alexandre Picard will take his spot on the blueline.

In the long-term, this newest injury certainly must raise concerns about the Canadiens’ plans regarding Markov. The rearguard is slated to become an unrestricted free agent come this summer and it is widely believed that team management strongly wants to keep him, but one has to wonder how much Pierre Gauthier is willing to invest in a player who is increasingly looking like damaged goods. While there is no doubt on Markov’s skill and value to the Habs, his health is now becoming a serious consideration.

Concerning Trade Rumours

First it was Bill Guerin, then Miroslav Satan and now even Owen Nolan has been suggested as potential free agent targets to assist the ailing second line. Now, save for Saturday’s contest, it is true that some of Montreal’s forwards have been underwhelming, but there should be no urgency in acquiring any of the aforementioned aging scorers, especially when the squad sits tops in its division.

Bill Guerin played parts of the last two years with the Pittsburgh Penguins, most notably playing a key role in their 2009 championship run. Last season, the 40 year old forward contributed 45 points in the regular season as well as 9 points in 11 playoff games. As a mid-season signing, Miroslav Satan provided valuable services to the Bruins last year, notching 10 points in 13 playoff games. Finally, as for Owen Nolan, he was last seen with the Minnesota Wild, where he potted 33 points.

In short, they are all clearly players of some use and, as playoff time nears, they could become excellent depth acquisitions for a team like Montreal. The keyword is just that, playoff time. There is simply no sense in committing valuable cap-space and disturbing the chemistry of a winning team. Not yet at least.

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