With P.K. Subban and recently re-signed defenseman Hal Gill in the fold for next season, Martin expects Markov back atop the Canadiens' top defensive pairing with Josh Gorges, who is also in need of a new contract and can become a restricted free agent next month.
Talks between the Canadiens and agents for both Markov and Gorges appear to be going well, as deals for both players are expected behind the end of June.
The Canadiens could get creative with their defensive corps, as Jaroslav Spacek and Yannick Weber are also under contract. The Habs added prospects Raphael Diaz and Alexei Yemelin last month, prompting speculation that one of Spacek or Weber could be dealt this summer.
"I think the one area where we wanted to get younger and quicker was on defence and we added two defencemen who bring those elements," Martin told the Gazette. "They have some youth, but they also have experience at the pro level and a skill level, which is important going forward."