Hearsay: Markov, Canadiens explore extension

Andrei Markov is in the final season of his three-year, $17.25 million contract.

Hockey Hearsay shines a light on stories of interest from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, year-round.

NHL Line Combo Central | Nichols on Twitter

MARKOV WANTS TO FINISH CAREER WITH HABS

The Montreal Gazette reports 35-year-old Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov, a pending unrestricted free agent this summer, said he’d like to play out his career with the Canadiens.

“How long that’s going to be, you never know,” Markov said. “It’s not only my decision, (but) also management, the organization. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

He added: “Maybe I’m going to sign another contract tomorrow. Maybe in another month. We’ll see,” he said. “I’d like to stay here for the rest of my career. You can see some players in their 40s who still play. I don’t want to think that far. Whatever is going to happen tomorrow will happen tomorrow.”

Preliminary talks have begun between general manager Marc Bergevin and Markov, who is currently without an agent.

CANADIENS, MONTREAL ALWAYS SPECIAL TO BRODEUR

Fire & Ice points out the New Jersey Devils are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens, hometown of Devils great Martin Brodeur.

Brodeur said the memory of his father, longtime Canadiens photographer Denis Sr., who passed away in September, is one of the things that has driven him this season.

“Every time you go out, you always try to find things that kind of motivate you and stuff like that,” he said. “Definitely, the passing of my dad was a big thing early on, but you try to get by and get through it. But he’s always going to be with me. He was always with me, so it’s just one of these things that I know he’s up there looking at us.”

When it was mentioned today that his father’s presence has been missed around Bell Centre, Brodeur said, “The Montreal Canadiens have been a big part of my family. I never played for them and probably will never play for them, but I think it’s a big part of me growing up and my career with my dad. So, it’s definitely appreciated when people think about it.”

OILERS’ EAKINS LOOKS TO USE GAZDIC MORE

The Edmonton Journal takes a look at physical Oilers winger Luke Gazdic, who has been working with the coaching staff on improving his overall game.

“There have been nights where I’ve thought of moving Luke up with Nuge and Hall or Eberle,” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “As our team gets stronger, I think you’ll see Luke’s minutes move higher in that regard because his skating is getting better and he’s way more comfortable with the puck … he’s not going to anchor down a line.

“It always comes back to what’s the score in the game, though. If we’re down — and this is no offence to Luke — but if we’re down a goal, odds are Luke is not going to participate, whereas another guy who hasn’t been playing as well may have the skill level to do that.”

Gazdic knows Oilers pro scout Dave Semenko would often ride shotgun for Wayne Gretzky.

“That used to be how it was back in the day but I don’t see that happening today … I mean, I’d love it. Nobody would touch Hall,” Gazdic said.

SABRES’ NOLAN BLUNT ON GRIGORENKO

Via The Buffalo News, Sabres coach Ted Nolan on Mikhail Grigorenko, who finally relented in his assignment back to the QMJHL.

“We can’t control what people do and what they say, but we certainly can control how we’re going to try to run this organization and what we feel is necessary for the development of young players,” Nolan said. “The tail can’t wag the dog. The dog wags the tail.

“We feel as an organization it’s best for him to develop in junior hockey. That’s not taking anything away from him. He’s got some skills and he’s got some ability, but in order for him to play at this level, we just need a little bit more.”

More Nolan: “You got to make the best of whatever situation you’re in. If he learns at a young age, it’s even better. But you will learn how to adapt and to adjust, and if you don’t, someone else is always going to take your job.

PREVIEWING DODGER STADIUM OUTDOOR GAME

The NHL’s ice truck arrived at Dodger Stadium and a press event was held Monday, previewing the Stadium Series game set to take place in less than two weeks between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Here a few tweets to whet fans’ appetites.