Former Montreal defenseman Markov signs with Russian club

MOSCOW (AP) Longtime Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov has signed with Russian club Ak Bars Kazan.

Ak Bars says the 38-year-old Markov has signed a two-year contract to play in the Kontinental Hockey League, a week after Montreal said it would not keep the defenseman for a 17th NHL season. No salary details were given.

The move means Markov could end playing at the Olympics in February.

Russia is expected to be the favorite for an Olympic tournament without NHL players. It should have Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk in its team, while Canada and the United States plan to have rosters made up of professionals playing in Europe and on college and major junior teams.

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