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2014-15 Season in Review: Paul Martin

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We recap Paul Martin's last season as a Pittsburgh Penguin.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 34

Contract Status: Completed last year of a 5-year, $25M contract. Heading into unrestricted free agency.

2014-15 Stats

GP

TOI

TOI/game

Goals

Assists

Points

CF%

CF% rel

Zone Start %

PDO

Reg. Season

74

1687

22:47

3

17

20

53.1

-0.6

48.5

101.4

Most Frequent Defensive Partners

GF%

CF%

Total 5v5 Time Together

Kris Letang

63.3%

55.2%

676:07

Christian Ehrhoff

77.8%

46.9%

184:26

Ben Lovejoy

50.0%

52.6%

99:59

What more can you say? Paul Martin and Kris Letang go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Usage

PensDefense1415

GIFs of the Year

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Oh, hi there, Lazy. You look skinny. Are they feeding you and taking good care of you in Nashville??

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Martin to Letang and we're off to the races.

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Martin chips in a bit.

Preseason Expectations

Heading into the last season of his contract and with Christian Ehrhoff brought in on a 1-year deal, most people expected Paul Martin to play another solid season and then leave via free agency, presumably as his heir apparent was already here. Only the first half of that assumption was realized.

Verdict

Paul Martin did indeed have a perfectly solid season. He played 74 games and logged in heavy minutes with Kris Letang on a terrific top pairing. He arguably brings the best out of Letang as he competently takes care of his own end and is always able to support Letang as he jumpstarts the offense.

Paul Martin was signed as a free agrent in the summer of 2010 to a 5-year, $25M contract. His first season was somewhat underwhelming, yet when asked by Shero whether he wanted a trade, Martin didn't take the easy way out. He stayed and he played and he delivered. In fact, in today's day and age, with players signing multi-year deals that only see them play well for a year or two, you could argue Martin bucked that trend and provided several years of reliable, steady presence on the blue line. His only flaw, if that's a flaw, is the ability to stay 100% healthy as he spent more than half of 2013-14 season injured. Even then, he played in 85% (297/346) of all regular season games in those 5 seasons. You would be hard-pressed to find a player who fulfilled a 5-year contract given to him in a better way.

There are quite a few holes to be filled in the Pens top-heavy lineup, so when you have Letang and Scuderi making $10.6M between them, you have to take advantage of top 4 defensemen of Matta, Pouliot and Lovejoy caliber making around $1M each, while rounding out the bottom of the depth chart with guys on $500K deals. That's the reality. However, this lineup will be one injury to Kris Letang (he of 4 concussions and a stroke in recent seasons) away from again playing Scuderi and Lovejoy way more than is advisable. Martin is 34 and he still has several good years left in him. If he received Scuderi's contract, now that would be a great deal, except he'll probably be looking for higher salary and longer term. In the end, it's very likely we've seen the last of Paul Martin in the Pens uniform. It's been a great 5 years. Goodbye to Paul Martin, American hero.

***

Feel free to vote and rate Paul Martin's last season with the Penguins. 1 indicates that you were massively disappointed in him; 10 suggests that he exceeded even your wildest expectations.