General manager Jim Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins are at the centre of the trade market - as they have been for months, but they won't be anywhere near one particular player believed to be on the trade block as per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
Former Penguins defenseman Paul Martin is currently a part of the San Jose Sharks organization. He was recently placed on waivers, and went unclaimed.
Going unclaimed doesn't mean that no one will end up taking him off the Sharks' hands - his $4.85 million salary running through next season made it too unappealing to claim him for nothing on waivers.
Teams will want one or both of two things. For salary to be retained in a trade, and for the Sharks to take salary back to offset the cost.
Martin missed a lot of time this year due to injury, and with the Sharks having established defensive chemistry by the time he healed up, there just hasn't been a place for him in the lineup. Cue the demotion to the AHL to get ice time - and some spotlight for NHL scouts.
He's played 3 games this season for the Sharks, playing another 5 down in the AHL since his demotion.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put to rest any and all speculation that Paul Martin could come back to Pittsburgh in a recent segment.
"The San Jose Sharks put former Penguins defenseman Paul Martin on waivers Monday," Mackey writes. "Don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know the Penguins won’t play a part.
"Was told by an industry source that there simply isn’t a fit with Martin in Pittsburgh, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
"Martin is 36, makes $4.85 million, is on the downside of his career, and the Penguins could have as many as eight healthy defensemen whenever Chad Ruhwedel returns from an upper-body injury."
The salary issue comes into play, as expected, but when you consider the team's surplus on D, he just doesn't really fit the bill for what Rutherford is looking for. Even when Ian Cole is inevitably traded before the trade deadline (...imagine that doesn't happen?), it wouldn't make sense to add Martin at this time, certainly not at this point in his career.
The same goes for Matt Cullen, who Mackey also stated is very unlikely to be reacquired from the Minnesota Wild. They are a competitive team, and it would do them no good to trade him here.
For you nostalgic folks, here is a bit from Martin's The Player Tribune piece following his departure from Pittsburgh in 2015.
"There are many more people I’d like to thank, but most importantly, I’d like to thank the fans. You were all so supportive and passionate. When I arrived here, I was a defensive specialist — definitely not a household name. I used to have a joke when I was driving around town with friends and spotted someone in a Penguins jersey. “Hey, there’s a no. 7!” You see so many 7s in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, most have an 8 before or a 1 after. Sid and Geno run the town. Whenever I would see an actual Paul Martin jersey, I’d usually pop my head out the window and say hello.
I’ll never forget the kids who would come up to me and say, “You’re my favorite player. I want to play just like you.” That never stops being an incredible feeling." - Paul Martin