MONTREAL — P.K. Subban said he hopes Andrei Markov is successful in his attempt to return to the NHL after two seasons away.
“Everyone knows how I feel about Andrei Markov, both as a player and as a person,” the New Jersey Devils defenseman said Thursday of his former Montreal Canadiens teammate. “And he’s been amazing, critical, you know, to my career and the success that I’ve had so far. He’s helped me so much. And he’s one of my closest friends in hockey, for sure. So I want to see him land on his feet somewhere. And if he wants to play, I know ‘Marky,’ the way he sees the ice, the way he plays the game. I’ve never played with anybody like that. So I know his talent and his ability is special. And who knows? I mean, I’m not a GM, but I’d take Marky on my team any day.”
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Subban was in Montreal on Thursday fundraising for his charitable foundation.
Markov this month reportedly told the Montreal Gazette he wanted to play a final NHL season, preferably with the Canadiens.
“That’s my dream, you know,” the 40-year-old defenseman said. “But it’s not up to me. We’ll see … we’ll see what’s going to happen. I’ll try to train hard and prepare myself. But it’s not just my decision. I’m trying to prepare myself for that, but we’ll see what’s going to happen, you know. Most probably it’s going to be my last year. I’m looking for a one-year contract and try to enjoy that and give my all.”
Subban and Markov were teammates from 2010-16. Subban won the Norris Trophy voted as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2013.
Video: MTL@COL: Markov rockets it home to provide the lead
Markov said he’d be willing to listen to offers from other NHL teams if Montreal isn’t interested. He was unable to agree on a contract with the Canadiens after the 2016-17 season, his 16th with Montreal, and decided to return to Russia. He had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 49 games for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League last season.
“I always loved the team, loved this city and I always will,” Markov said of Montreal. “But like I said, whatever happened that time … that’s life, you know.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this report