Veteran NHL defenseman Paul Martin has officially retired from professional hockey. The 37 year old blue liner made the announcement earlier today and met with The Athletic’s Michael Russo for a special one on one interview.
Check it out:
The veteran defenseman played just 14 games with the San Jose Sharks last year, scoring two assists. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson tried to find a trade partner or a waiver destination for Martin all season long, but was unsuccessful in his search. In effect, the game has simply passed Martin by. The former Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils blue liner finished his NHL career with 50 goals and 320 assists in 870 games.
Read below for some quotes from Martin’s former teammates, taken directly from Russo’s column:
— “Great, great professional. Probably one of those most generous and down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. Such a good, good guy,” said Zach Parise, who played with Martin on the New Jersey Devils and in the 2014 Olympics.
— “One of the best teammates I’ve had the chance to play with. Very calming factor, easy going, someone you could talk to when things weren’t going well. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get frustrated after tough games and he was the guy that was always there to talk to me and talk me through it. We’d talk about hockey or life and everything. He settled me down, he calmed me down. Just supportive always. Only cared about each of us, not himself,” said San Jose Sharks star center Logan Couture.
— “Solid pro. When he came to San Jose (in 2015), we’d just come off missing the playoffs. It was a tough couple of years of really getting momentum going, and he helped really strengthen the locker room back up. Just from the type of person he is. Put everything aside from the great player and pro he is, but he’s just such a solid guy. Helps everyone out around him, wants to take care of the guys around him first. He showed up every day, worked and always got the job done. You never had to worry about Paul Martin and as a teammate, that’s always a great thing,” said Joe Pavelski, the captain of the San Jose Sharks.
— “The most special thing about that guy is it didn’t matter how many times you asked him how he was or what was he doing or what was going on, he always just cared about you. We always joked, we know his name, but we know nothing else ’cause he’s always asking if we’re all right, how our kids are doing, how life is. He just cared that much and he really put the ‘Nice’ in the Minnesota Nice. It’s like this guy just exemplifies that. I mean, just look what he’s doing for kids in Minnesota. That says everything you want to know about him. It’s just so genuine of him. I’m not kidding you, he’s the most genuine human being I’ve ever met,” said Brent Burns, Martin’s former defense partner and protégé in San Jose, with a tear in his eye.