Pittsburgh Penguins: Top 5 Personnel Decisions Facing the Pens This Summer

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Nov 8, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) celebrates his second goal against the Buffalo Sabres with defenseman Paul Martin (7) during the first period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. Veteran UFA Defensemen

The Penguins have two veteran defensemen who have become UFA’s – Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff.

Ehrhoff is an interesting case, as the team didn’t get to see what he can truly do, as injuries limited him to only 49 games this season.

When he was active, however, he looked solid for the Pens – though not excellent. If the Pens could bring Ehrhoff back at the same $4 million price that they got him for last summer, then he could be a solid addition.

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The other potential UFA, Paul Martin, is a more complex case. Martin has been fantastic during his time in Pittsburgh, emerging as one of the club’s top two defensemen alongside Kris Letang.

This season saw a notable step forward for Martin as he and Letang formed a truly elite pairing for the black and gold, before the latter was sidelined with a concussion.

Rutherford would surely like to bring Martin back to keep this pairing together, but it’s unlikely this will come to be unless Martin is okay with taking less than he did in his last contract ($5 million per season).

It shouldn’t be too big an issue as he’s now 34 years old, but there are other clubs in the league that would pay a hefty price for Martin’s experience and reliable skill set.

Considering the unstable nature of the Penguins’ defensive corps, however, they must look to bring back the reliable veteran.