Ray Shero was telling the truth when he wanted to make defense a priority, because the Penguins just dumped a five-year, $25 million commitment on former Devils D Paul Martin. For the day, their tally now stands at $45 million combined on Martin and Zbynek Michalek, who is in the fold for four years.
Martin, 29, is a superb all-around defenseman who goes 6'1", 190 pounds. He played in just 22 games last season due to injury, and notched two goals and nine assists for New Jersey. He was a member of two national championship teams at the University of Minnesota and has been named to two US Olympic hockey teams, in 2006 and 2010, although he did not see any action in '06 and missed the games in '10 with a broken arm.
His presence, along with that of Michalek, instantly gives the Pens one of the league's top defenses, but does nothing to solve the problem at winger and leaves a question mark on the power play. Welcome to life in the Salary Cap Era. But nonetheless, I still love the moves. It's nice to see a team in town make some bold moves to build a championship team and not constantly sell us on the future.