It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense for the Sharks, who haven’t received much in the way of offense from their defensemen. Markov, 35, is one of the league’s top offensive rearguards and is a force on the power play. Despite his age, he still possesses a hard slapshot and incredible skating abilities.
With Dan Boyle struggling to produce, Markov could slot in as San Jose’s new power play quarterback and go-to offensive option from the back end. He’s had serious injury issues in the past but seems to be back at 100 percent, having posted 30 points during last year’s lockout-shortened campaign in which he appeared in all 48 of Montreal’s contests. In 57 games this season, Markov has 29 points and 90 shots on goal.
Markov is in the final year of a contract worth $5.75 million per season, so he’ll likely be coveted by a number of playoff teams looking for a veteran rental at the trade deadline. Reports indicate that the Los Angeles Kings have shown heavy interest while the Colorado Avalanche have also had talks with Montreal.
The asking price for Markov’s services is believed to be a roster player, a prospect and a first-round draft pick. ESPN reported that the Canadiens requested Kyle Clifford, Tanner Pearson and a first-rounder from the Kings this week.
That’s an offer the Sharks may not be able to match. With an alarmingly shallow prospect pool, the club desperately needs to hold onto its first-round picks and stock up on quality young players. They also can’t afford to sacrifice scoring depth — an area that has been an issue for San Jose in recent years — for a rental.
If the Sharks can come up with an offer that doesn’t cripple their offense or mortgage their future, Markov would be a terrific trade deadline acquisition. He would instantly transform the complexion of the team’s blue line and provide a major boost to the power play unit.