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Habs’ Markov signs with KHL Vityaz

Andrei Markov

Veteran Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov has agreed to join KHL club Vityaz Chekov, according to Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.

Markov, 33, said he chose to sign with Vityaz because the club employs many ex-Dynamo Moscow front office staffers -- Markov played with Dynamo during the last lockout and starred with the club before joining the Canadiens in 2000.

As for Markov’s new club, Vityaz is best known as one of the toughest and most violent teams in Russia. It currently employs the likes of former Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies and Jeremy Yablonski, the guy that once did his current teammate, Trevor Gillies:

Last November, Yablonski was suspended for the remainder of the 2011-12 season for this nasty sucker punch.

In terms of real hockey players, Vityaz features ex-AHL scoring sensation Mark Cullen, longtime NHL defenseman Danny Markov and former Sharks winger Alex Korolyuk.

It’ll be interesting to see how Markov fares in the KHL after missing almost all of the last two years with various knee injuries. He appeared in just seven games in 2010-11 and only 13 in 2011-12, though he did manage to record six points in those 20 games.