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Numbers Game: Penguins Bring In Martin

Scott Cullen
7/1/2010 6:36:57 PM
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After the Pittsburgh Penguins lost their power play quarterback, they signed a pair of defencemen to bolster their blueline.

Numbers Game looks at the Penguins' addition of Paul Martin.

The Penguins Get: D Paul Martin.

Smooth-skating blueliner Paul Martin may have flown under the radar somewhat, coming off a season in which a forearm injury limited him to just 22 games, but was obviously in demand as a top-pair defenceman.

Having already lost Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa, the Penguins had inked Zbynek Michalek to bolster their blueline, but really shored up their defensive situation by signing Martin.

The 29-year-old arrives in Pittsburgh with the high expectations that come with a five-year, $25-million contract, but it's worth noting that he's never scored more than six goals or recorded more than 37 points in a single NHL season.

Going to Pittsburgh, where there are obviously talented playmaking centres there to create scoring opportunities, may give Martin the opportunity to set new career marks in those offensive categories, but it would be unreasonable to expect him to suddenly make up for the production lost by Gonchar's departure; that's just not the kind of player that Martin has been in six NHL seasons.

Martin, along with Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski, will have the chance to take on the bulk of the blueline power play duties, so it won't fall to just one player to make up for Gonchar's production.

Martin has been a reliable player at both ends of the rink for six NHL seasons, able to play in any situation (logging 22-25 minutes over the last five seasons) and posting a double-digit plus rating for the last three seasons.

The Devils went in a different direction defensively, bringing in Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov, who play decidedly different games than Martin.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen.

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