SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Paul Martin to a four-year contract.
Martin, 34, recorded 20 points (3 goals, 17 assists), 20 penalty minutes and was a plus-17 last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He finished the season ranked 2nd amongst Penguins blueliners in points and assists, T-2nd in goals, and his plus-17 led all Penguins skaters. Martin skated an average of 22:47 per game, which ranked 2nd on the team, and his 139 blocked shots led all Pittsburgh players. In addition, he posted two assists and two penalty minutes in five playoff games last season.
"Paul is versatile, puck-moving veteran who enhances our younger group of talented defensemen," said Wilson. "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."
In 697 career NHL games with New Jersey and Pittsburgh, Martin has compiled 272 points (43 goals, 229 assists) and a plus-100 rating. He ranks 7th amongst American-born defensemen in games played since his rookie season (2003-04) and 9th in points during that span. In 85 career NHL Playoff games, Martin has tallied 40 points (5 goals, 35 assists) and 32 penalty minutes.
Martin has represented the United States in numerous international tournaments, including the Winter Olympics (2014), the World Championships (2008 and 2005) the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and the World Jr. Championship (2001). He was named one of the Top-3 Players on the Team in 2008.
Prior to his time in the NHL, Martin played collegiately at the University of Minnesota (2000-03), helping the Golden Gophers capture back-to-back National Championships in 2002 and 2003. He was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team in 2003 and, prior to his college days, was named Minnesota's "Mr. Hockey" award winner in 2000 as the most outstanding high school player in the state.
The six-foot-one. 200-pound native of Minneapolis, MN, was originally drafted by New Jersey in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2000 NHL Draft.