A popular landing spot for Paul Martin on July 1?
The Colorado Avalanche.
According to NHL sources, the Avalanche plan to pursue Martin heavily as Colorado’s No. 1 priority is a left handed defenseman to be paired with Erik Johnson.
Last summer the Avalanche aggressively pursued Martin at the draft, offering a high draft pick and forward PA Parenteau in ex-change for Martin but the offer was declined by the Penguins.
The interest this summer is expected to be mutual as the Avalanche are among four to five teams that Martin and his agent Ben Hankinson have already pinpointed as destinations of interest, though, it’s no secret Martin would give very strong consideration to playing in Minnesota and return home if there’s interest from the Wild.
Martin, 34, is looked at by SOME executives as the top defenseman set to hit the open market, though, his age, 34, is a concern, but Martin should still be in line for multiple offers of at least five years worth in the neighborhood of $5.5-$6 million per season.
Interest from contenders will be strong.
Penguin coaches will be make a strong push internally to keep Martin when the Penguins conduct their pro scouting meetings in the next couple weeks but resigning Christian Ehrhoff at a lesser term or throwing money at a younger defenseman in Cody Franson, who is very high on Jim Rutherford’s wishlist, is expected to be the plan of action if the Penguins decide to invest into another defenseman.