According to a report in Le Journal de Montreal, Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov is headed to Moscow, Russia, next week to bring twin sons Andrei and Mark back to Montreal after his ex-wife, Natalia Streckova, died from ovarian cancer.
The 30-year-old Streckova had been battling the disease for several years before passing over Christmas.
“I saw her for the last time just before this season,” Markov told Le Journal’s Jonathan Bernier. “Even if she was physically deteriorating, she continued to be optimistic and continued to believe she’d beat the disease.”
Markov’s current wife, Sonya Sonechka, with whom he has a 10-month old baby, also visited Streckova before she died.
“She told her not to worry,” said Markov. “She told her she would take care of us—the twins and I. We know she can’t replace Natalia, we only have one mother. But we hope that, with them and our 10-month-old daughter, we can be a big, happy family.”
The Canadiens are off from Feb. 13-17 for their bye week, and Markov will take that time to bring his five-year-old sons from Moscow to Montreal.
“I’m so anxious to go bring them home with me,” the 38-year-old Markov said. “The twins have been living with their maternal grandmother since their mother passed.
“They’re young kids, and they probably don’t realize how sad this is. They just want to smile and have fun. That’s what I’m going to try to do with them.”
The kids were born in Montreal and they were two years old when Markov and Streckova separated.
Markov told Bernier that he hopes they can adjust quickly to their new living circumstances.
“It should be easier for them, they’re still young,” he said.