Murph’s Musings: Habs Listening To Trade Offers On Andrei Markov

Andrei Markov, trade rumors

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tis the season for trade rumors and furthermore rumors of trades that could only be pulled off in a video game. Such was the case last Thursday when Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reported that the Avalanche and Canadiens were discussing a possible deal that would send defending Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban to the Avalanche in exchange for draft picks and prospects. That story sent the twitterverse into chaos as Habs fans and hockey media like yours truly wondered where Chambers heard these “reports.” The reality is the Canadiens are very unlikely to trade the Olympian blue liner and if they were to deal him to Colorado, it would take AT LEAST Nathan MacKinnon.

But while Chambers clearly didn’t do his research on whatever scoop he was given and paid dearly for it, getting slammed on Twitter, one has to wonder if he mixed up highly skilled defensemen on the Habs roster? Since that story was printed, two reliable NHL sources have told “Murph’s Musings” that while the Canadiens have had talks with Markov on a new contract and could still sign the unrestricted free agent to be, they are entertaining trade offers for the Russian Olympian.

Sources within the Avalanche organization and pro scouts around the NHL that have watched the Av’s this season will tell you that the one thing that the Av’s truly need and desire is a legit puck-moving defenseman and one who could elevate their power play as well. Andrei Markov would definitely fit that description and while no one that this scribe spoke to could confirm he was the Canadiens defenseman Colorado had interest in, it’s worth keeping an eye on. The more likely scenario is that Raphael Diaz – another UFA to be – could be dealt from Montreal but if the Habs could net a solid return, they won’t shy away from dealing Markov.

–Speaking of UFA defensemen, there has been more and more chatter that Jets defenseman Mark Stuart is the likely odd man out on the Winnipeg blue line and that Dustin Byfuglien is not a lock to be traded as many believed he is. That’s not to say multiple teams aren’t vying for Byfuglien via a trade but right now the Jets seem to be pondering keeping the Big Buff. It wouldn’t surprise this scribe if Stuart ends up with his former club in Boston as a depth rental for the Bruins.

–Finally, is it me or did Devils goalie Martin Brodeur come off a bit selfish last week? First he blamed ice conditions at Yankee Stadium after he was shelled in a 7-3 loss to the Rangers and then he hints that if Corey Schneider is going to be the No.1 goalie for the rest of the season then he wouldn’t mind being traded to a team where he’d get more playing time. With all due respect to the future hall of famer, how about standing by the team you’ve won three Stanley Cups with and helping your successor and the team make a playoff run? It’s not like you’re Ray Bourque who went 19 seasons without a Stanley Cup before being able to finish on top after being traded to the Avalanche. At least Bourque didn’t publicly plead for a way out either.

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James Murphy is a freelance reporter who also writes for NHL.com. He covered the Boston Bruins/NHL for last 11 seasons writing for ESPNBoston.com, ESPN.com, NHL.com, NESN.com, Insidehockey.com and Le Hockey Magazine. Murphy also currently hosts “Murphy’s Hockey Law” (Saturdays 9-11 AM ET on Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio and 4-6 PM ET on Websportsmedia.com. He is also a regular guest TSN 690 in Montreal and Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio.
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