The Montreal Canadiens and Andrei Markov agreed to a new three-year, $17.25M contract Monday. The 35-year-old defenceman, who was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will return to the only team he has ever played for to be the veteran leader on a very young blue line.

“We are very happy to have secured a long term agreement with Andrei,” general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “He is an important part of our group of core players.”

“I knew before the season was over I’d like to stay with the Montreal Canadiens, so I’m happy the deal was done and I’m looking forward now,” Markov said. “I feel like I’m at home here.”

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