Markov re-ups with Canadiens

Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov takes practices in Montreal, Que., April 6, 2011. (ERIC...

Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov takes practices in Montreal, Que., April 6, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:25 AM ET

Andrei Markov didn't bother waiting to see if he could get big bucks through free agency, instead signing a three-year contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens Thursday.

The 32-year-old Russian defenceman, who missed most of the 2010-11 season with a knee injury, would have become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"We are very pleased that Andrei has made the decision to pursue his career with the Montreal Canadiens," general manager Pierre Gauthier said in a press release announcing the signing. "A player drafted and developed by our organization, Andrei brings a high level of talent and leadership to our team. We look forward to having him back in our lineup for the start of the upcoming season."

Markov played just seven games last seaso, recording one goal and two assists. In 623 career games, he has 81 goals and 285 assists.


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