Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall on Wednesday denied interest in 38-year-old unrestricted free-agent defenseman Andrei Markov.
"Don't believe everything you read or hear,'' Hextall said, addressing Monday's report from a Montreal radio station. "I haven't talked to Andrei Markov.''
Acting as his own agent, Markov is rumored to be seeking a contract for at least two years that pays in the vicinity of $6 million. He averaged $5.75 million in his latest three-year contract with Montreal.
Markov, who has dual citizenship with Canada and Russia, has played all 16 seasons with the Habs and may be headed back that way after a productive season (36 points, 21 minutes, 50 seconds average ice time) that defied his age. He also has an obvious wealth of knowledge that might be beneficial to the Flyers' young defense corps, particularly their second-year defenseman Ivan Provorov.
But Hextall, sometimes criticized for his conservative approach with prospects, has steadfastly insisted this summer that he will not block one of his younger players with a short-fix veteran.
"I said with [unrestricted free agent Jaromir] Jagr the other day that was just not a direction we were going,'' Hextall said during a brief question and answer session in Voorhees. "In saying that, I do anticipate bringing in a defenseman into training camp on a tryout in case our kids aren't ready.
"But there's a point where you have to jump in with your younger players. And if we're not there, we're close.''