Penguins sign defenseman Martin

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The low point in defenseman Paul Martin's season came when he broke his arm blocking a shot at Mellon Arena last Oct. 27.

He's going to get plenty of chances to make some better memories here, however.

The Penguins have worked out a contract agreement with Paul Martin, arguably the best two-way defenseman on the free-agent market. The contract is for five years and $25 million, an annual cap hit of $5 million.

Martin, 29 and late of New Jersey, was signed shortly after Sergei Gonchar accepted a three-year deal worth $16.5 million with Ottawa.

Martin is 6 feet 1, 200 pounds and has excellent mobility and instincts. He, like Gonchar, doesn't play a particularly physical game and he won't necessarily be the front-runner to replace Gonchar as quarterback of the power play.

Martin had two goals and nine assists in 22 games with the Devils this season, and was forced to pass on a chance to play for Team USA at the Olympics because of the injury, which forced him to sit out 59 games.

His most productive offensive season was 2005-06, when he had five goals and 32 assists in 80 games.


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