The 2017-18 campaign has been a tumultuous one for San Jose Sharks defender Paul Martin, as an ankle injury has limited the veteran rearguard to just three games this season. Now nearing a return, it seems Martin could be wearing a different jersey when he takes the ice next.
“Paul Martin has been hurt a lot of this year — he’s back, he’s healthy,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment on Saturday. “They’ve got eight defencemen. He’s got one more year at $4.85 (million) against the cap.
“I do think San Jose is trying to find him another spot in the NHL, and there are people who believe he can still help someone.”
A veteran of 13 seasons in the big leagues, Martin has made his name as a steady presence on the back end, first for the New Jersey Devils and then during a five-year stint for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 36-year-old joined the Sharks as a free agent prior to the 2015-16 campaign, signing a four-year, $19-million deal.
Martin’s contract carries a modified no-trade clause, according to CapFriendly, allowing the American blue-liner to submit a six-team list of clubs to which he will not be traded.
Though he’s been on the shelf since Dec. 7, the veteran’s track record should be enough to garner interest from defence-starved teams around the league.
Martin has 318 points through 859 career NHL appearances, with 46 of those points coming for San Jose over the past two years. The Minneapolis, Minn. native logged 19:14 minutes per night for the Sharks last season after averaging at least 20 minutes for the previous 12 seasons of his career.
Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brenden Dillon and Justin Braun have entrenched themselves as the Sharks’ top four on the blue line this season, with Tim Heed, Joakim Ryan and Dylan DeMelo rounding out the group.