The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t wait long to start the craziness that is the first day of NHL free agency, signing former Buffalo Sabres Christian Ehrhoff just seven minutes into the signing period.
After being bought out just a few days before, the Penguins were one of the teams that emerged as favorites to sign the defenseman.
After stating they were committing to playing their young defensemen as well as rumors that swirled at the draft about the possible availability of Paul Martin, the Penguins could be now looking to move the defenseman after the addition of Ehrhoff.
Florida Panthers’ general manager Dale Tallon, has already been busy on day one and he did throw out the possibility of not only signing veteran defenseman – but also trading for one – could Martin be that defenseman?
When healthy, Martin has been the Penguins most consistent two-way defenseman who has played four years on a then five year contract with Pittsburgh.
Going into free agency, the Panthers only have two defenseman with one-way contracts – Brian Campbell and Colby Robak. Erik Gudbranson, Dmitry Kulikov, and Dylan Olsen are all restricted free agents and were all offered qualifying offers, meaning unless they are all offered an offer sheet they will all return (of course the Panthers can always match the offer sheet).
Adding Martin not only adds that veteran presence that they are looking for, but instantly helps on the power play. Always known more for his offensive production, while in Pittsburgh, teamed up with Brooks Orpik to form their ‘shutdown’ defensive pairing.
Having Martin’s presence on the blue line could help youngsters like Gudbranson and Kulikov along in their progression.
With the Penguins looking to shed some salary, Martin’s $5 million cap hit makes him an ideal ‘victim’, and it wouldn’t cost the Panthers too much, as long as the main goal for the Penguins is to clear up some cap.
What would you feel about the Panthers trading for Martin? Would he be a good fit? Would a trade make sense for an one-year player? Comment below and follow The Rat Trick on Twitter and like us on Facebook.