ESPN: Penguins sign Martin - 07-01-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

According to Scott Burnside of ESPN, the Penguins have signed former Devils defenseman Paul Martin. According to TSN, the deal is for five years at $25 million. He will have an annual cap hit of $5 million.

In 22 games last season, Martin recorded 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and was a plus 10. He missed most of last season due to a broken forearm suffered at Mellon Arena, Oct. 24.

Martin, 29, was selected to Team USA's Olympic roster, but missed the games due to the injury.

A lefthanded shot, Martin has averaged a total of 22:30 of ice time last season. Broken down, he had 17:54 of that was even-strength, 3:03 of that was on the power play and 1:32 was on the penalty kill.

In 2008-09, Martin, 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, appeared in 73 games and recorded 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) and was a plus-21. That season, Martin averaged 24:22 of ice time. Broken down, that was 17:31 even-strength, 3:20 on the power play and 3:29 on the penalty kill.

A second-round pick in 2000, Martin has spent his entire six-year career with the Devils. He is a native of Minneapolis.

EN Says: We're a little leary of the money, but this is a nice move. Martin's stats won't blow you away by any means, but he plays a pretty complete, all around game. He contributes in all three zone and can be relied on in any situation (even strength, power play, or penalty kill).

Again, Martin won't make anyone forget Sergei Gonchar's pure scoring ability, but he is a capable replacement. He's a solid skater. He knows what to do with the puck in virtually any situation and by virtue of his six-year apprenticeship in New Jersey, you know he can play defense.

Ray Shero clearly saw the Penguins' defense as being a weakness. He let a deteriorating asset in Gonchar walk, then acquired two younger players who should be entering the prime years of their career in Martin and Zbynek Michalek. And in doing so, he acquired two of the top 10 defensemen on the open market and improved his team's biggest area of need. Today has been a good day for Shero.

Martin's statistics will get a boost playing with the Penguins, a team far more offensively-mind than the Devils, but don't expect him to break any of Paul Coffey's records. It's probably fair to expect him to hover around 40 points a season assuming he gets regular minutes on the Penguins' power play.

He has average size and isn't overly physical, but he has been pretty durable throughout his career. Before last season, he had never played fewer than 70 games in an NHL season.

The addition of Martin and Michalek doesn't exactly bode well for the future of Mark Eaton and Jordan Leopold. Considering the Penguins now have $9 million of cap space devoted to Martin and Michalek for the next few season, it's hard to see them bringing back another veteran for anything more than $2 million.

Another thing to consider with this signing is that it weakens a team which the Penguins had huge problems with last season. The Devils are a significantly lesser team without Martin.

Some highlights:

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(Photo: Bill Kostroun/Associated Press)

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