Andrei Markov is no longer a Montreal Canadien.

The team announced Thursday morning that after 16 seasons, Markov will no longer play for the team.

"I am sad," said the veteran player. "I knew in my heart that I only wanted to sign in Montreal. For the past 16 years I was proudly wearing the habs jersey, each and every day I realized how lucky I was to be part of such a great hockey organization."

Markov had reportedly been trying for a two-year contract with the team after getting a one-year contract offer earlier this year, but later in the day Markov said the team was not willing to come to an agreement. He says he respects the team's decision but is disapointed.

"I was ready to stay in Montreal. I was ready and willing to sign a one-year deal. It didn't work," said Markov.

The 38-year-old has played his entire NHL career with the Habs, being drafted in 1998 and playing his first NHL game in 2000.

Since then he has played 990 games as a Canadien, placing him sixth in terms of most-games-played with the team.

In an afternoon news conference, Markov said that he wanted to retire as a Canadien.

"It is tough. I made it clear I wanted to stay for the rest of my career. It's a business. I don't blame anyone," said Markov.

He added that he had been in discussions with other NHL teams, and said he will now look towards playing for another team -- in Russia.

"I know what team it's going to be but I can't tell you right now because I haven't signed yet," said Markov.

"I want to thank all the fans that support me for the past 16 years. The people who made me me feel welcome in Montreal."