Bay Area

Sharks sign free agent defenseman Paul Martin

The San Jose Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson continued the offseason revamping of the roster on the first day of the NHL free agency period, signing defenseman Paul Martin to a four-year deal.

Martin, 34, scored 20 points and was a plus-17 for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, and was generally considered one of the big prizes among available free agent defensemen.

“Paul is versatile, puck-moving veteran who enhances our younger group of talented defensemen,” said Wilson in a statement on the Sharks’ web site. “He comes from a winning environment, is capable of playing heavy minutes and is accustomed to playing with high-end players. He was a player that we had targeted and this is a place that Paul wanted to come play.”

Martin is an ice-hog on the blue line, having never averaged less than 20 minutes a game in his 11-year career, and has averaged over 22 minutes in 10 seasons. After two successive seasons plagued by injury, Martin played in 74 games last season for the Penguins. He brings a shutdown mentality to the defensive corps, and will be a veteran leader for younger players like Mirco Mueller and Matt Tennyson.

Photo Credit:  Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.
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