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Here's to you, Andrei!

Defenseman Andrei Markov announced his retirement on Thursday following an illustrious playing career

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - Andrei Markov is officially hanging up his skates.

The 41-year-old defenseman announced his retirement on Thursday. 

Before returning to his native Russia for the final three seasons of his career - sporting the colors of Ak Bars Kazan for two campaigns and one with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL - Markov spent 16 seasons in the NHL ranks with the Canadiens.

The Voskresensk native's all-time numbers with Montreal speak for themselves.

He ranks sixth in Canadiens franchise history with 990 games played and 453 assists.

Among Habs defensemen, Markov sits tied for second in points (572) alongside Hall of Famer, Guy Lapointe, and ranks third in goals (119) as well behind only Lapointe and fellow Hall of Famer, Larry Robinson.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: 990 NHL games119 goals572 pointsThank you for everything you've done for the Canadiens and congratulations on an incredible career, Andrei! pic.twitter.com/1XCqizppCD

While still wearing the CH, Markov made NHL All-Star appearances on two occasions, in both 2008 and 2009.

He was a sixth-round pick of the Canadiens, 162nd overall, in the 1998 NHL Draft.

Looking back

Markov made several appearances on HabsTV over the years.

It goes without saying that he was always a man of very few words when the cameras were rolling.

Video: Habs Tinder ft. Andrei Markov

But he definitely had some fun with the material from time to time.

Video: Before/After Markov ft. Markov

Sometimes, he genuinely enjoyed himself… (Thank you, Emmy!)

Watch: Youtube Video

And it's safe to say the countrymen had some excellent chemistry.

Video: The CHat feat. Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin

Congratulations on a wonderful career, Andrei! We wish you all the best in retirement!

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