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Report: Andrei Markov will stay with Canadiens on 2-year dealIn 2009, defenseman Andrei Markov(notes) missed 37 games for the Montreal Canadiens after injuring his tendon on opening night.

In 2010, Markov tore his ACL during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and then missed 75 games in the following 2010-11 season after injuring his right knee on Nov. 16.

These injures occurred in the last two years of his 4-year deal with Montreal, with an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. An unrestricted free agent this summer, Markov was expected to remain with the Canadiens. The question was for how much and for how long.

Tony Marinaro of Team 990 in Montreal provided a potential answer on Tuesday night, reporting that the Habs will eventually re-sign Markov to a 2-year, $11.5 million deal — maintaining his $5.75 million cap hit.

Via the Montreal Gazette, Markov's agent says not so fast:

Markov's agent, Don Meehan, denied a deal was imminent this week, but added a deal could be done by next week. Meehan is supposed to meet with Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier in Minnesota later this week during the NHL entry draft.

If Markov returns, it'll give the Habs four NHL-level defensemen under contract: Jaroslav Spacek(notes), Hal Gill(notes), PK Subban(notes) and Markov. Roman Hamrlik(notes), James Wisniewski(notes), Paul Mara(notes) and Brent Sopel(notes) are all unrestricted; Josh Gorges(notes) and Yannick Weber(notes) are restricted.

More from Habs Eyes on The Prize. Given the injuries, a 2-year term seems justifiable. Even with the injuries, the salary is understandable for what is one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL -- when healthy.

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