WHAT WILL THE PENGUINS DO WITH PAUL MARTIN?
Do the Penguins play the season out with Paul Martin and let him leave for nothing, like they’ve let some many others do, or do they trade him at somepoint this coming season for immediate help or long-term assets?
That’s the million dollar question GM Jim Rutherford will have to answer as the chances are extremely unlikely that Martin will commit to resigning with the Penguins before testing the market next summer.
The talk around the Penguins this week is Martin’s not happy with the direction of the team after taking less money to sign with the Penguins in 2010 for what he felt at the time was the best opportunity to win Cups.
Martin passed on a more lucrative deal that summer from the Los Angeles Kings and four years later, the Kings have won two Stanley Cups and 10 playoff series, while the Penguins have won just three playoff series during Martin’s four year career with the Penguins.
To be honest, Martin isn’t the only big name on the team not happy about what’s been going on with this organization.
Interest is significant in Martin around the league, who is likely to command around $6 million on the open market next summer, but the Penguins in recent weeks have scaled back on listening to trade inquiries for Martin.
Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Detroit were among the teams with significant interest in Martin at the draft. Some believe Martin has his sights set on playing for the Wild next year.
Martin has the trade appeal to address the Penguins top-6 situation. The feeling around the league right now is Jim Rutherford plans to go into the season with Martin and see how things play out.
Many Penguins officials from the Shero regime still here, feel Martin has been the Penguins best defenseman the past two years.
Rutherford, though, absolutely loves Christian Ehrhoff and talk inside the organization is that Rutherford is likely to prioritize signing Ehrhoff long-term over Martin. The Penguins feel Ehrhoff signed here with the intention of eventually signing long-term and talks on a long-term deal are likely to happen by mid-season.
With the cap expected to reach at least $75 million next season, Martin and his agent Ben Hankinson know a big pay day is coming and it’s unlikely to be in Pittsburgh.
— Pascal Dupuis skated for the first time today after the Penguins prospect camp ended for the day. He wore a large brace on his right leg. Training camp starts in about two months. Dupuis said at the end of season he anticipates being ready for start of camp.
— Former Carolina Hurricane Chad Larose has been contacting teams as he is looking to make a return to the NHL. Don’t expect him to land with the Penguins. Larose and Rutherford had a falling out near the end of the 2012-2013 season.
— The Sidney Crosby situation has gotten bizarre. Some in his inner circle strongly believed the Penguins leaked his injury last week. After all, it was Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson, not the Penguins, and a source close to Crosby says Sidney and his father Troy had no idea Brisson was going to make the injury public and they were not happy about it.