It was a “nice” signing. That’s how a lot of people described it. And then they forgot about it.
But never underestimate the value of a reliable, top-four d-man.
“Paul Martin…I can’t say enough about him,” his defensive partner, Brent Burns, told the Hockey News. “How well he reads and reacts to plays – I’m an aggressive player, a little bit off-the-wall – and he knows the game so well.”
Martin — who’d often paired with another right-shooting, offensive defenseman in Pittsburgh by the name of Kris Letang — has logged just over 20 minutes a game for the Sharks. His ice time is down slightly compared to what he received with the Penguins, but that’s probably for the best as he just turned 35.
The Sharks don’t need him to play massive minutes anyway. Assuming no injuries, they’ll head into the playoffs with considerable depth on the back end. In addition to the Martin-Burns pairing, there’s the other top pairing of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, plus a bottom tandem of Brenden Dillon and Roman Polak.