Paul Martin, whose been speculated as possible trade bait, isn’t expected to be anywhere but Pittsburgh.
For the start of the season, at least.
According to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, nobody in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization feels Martin will be dealt, despite only one-year remaining on his contract and the belief he’ll test free agency rather than sign an extension next summer – per Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
No one around the Penguins expects Paul Martin to be traded.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 1, 2014
Martin, 33, is hauling in $5 million this next season, and because the team has just $7.3 million in cap space – per Cap Geek – the idea Pittsburgh may be interested in dealing him became all the more plausible.
And the fact the guy hasn’t been able to stay injury-free over recent seasons.
However, because the team lost Deryk Engelland (Calgary), Matt Niskanen (Washington), and Brooks Orpik (Washington) this past Monday, Martin’s presence in the lineup is probably wise to have. But then why would the team go out and sign Christian Ehrhoff?
Ehrhoff, 31, was inked to a one-year, $4 million deal in the first hour of the free agency frenzy on Monday. Which is a lot of money for a team expected to integrate their younger defensemen into the roster this season. And while Ehrhoff certainly provides depth and a strong two-way game, his addition should’ve paved the way for Martin’s departure.
Heading into the season, Pittsburgh will have Robert Bortuzzo, Ehrhoff, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Martin, and Rob Scuderi as their starting blue-line corps. Although Maatta will be sidelined 4-6 months due to shoulder surgery, he’ll be a starter one way or another. So, where’s the spot for a younger defenseman?
It’s comfortable having an abundance of blueliners, but how much longer are they going to delay the defensive prospects from getting acclimated to a full NHL season? Either deal Martin or Scuderi. And considering Scuderi’s contract has an average annual value of $3.375 million through the 2016-17 campaign – per Cap Geek – nobody’s going to bite.
Backtrack to what I wrote earlier; Martin is a Penguin, for now. Because the team knows they’ll probably lose him next summer, there’s nothing suggesting the front office won’t look to deal him at the trade deadline.
Pittsburgh’s notorious for executing moves at the deadline, and Martin’s cap hit/impending free agency status make him a perfect candidate to be traded.
Of course, you never know with general manager Jim Rutherford.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins