Paul Martin’s third season with the Sharks hasn’t quite been the charm.
He left the second game of the season with an ankle injury, and spent much of the year on injured reserve. In his absence, Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan established themselves as regulars along the San Jose blueline, and have seemingly forced Martin out of the lineup.
The 36-year-old has not played in an NHL game since Dec. 7, and is now reportedly on the verge of being traded. The Sharks are now “trying to find him another spot in the NHL,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported.
A trade could come quickly. Defenseman Dylan DeMelo is ready to be activated from injured reserve, and San Jose will need to make a corresponding roster move.
Timo Meier, Joakim Ryan, and Marcus Sorensen can be sent down to the minor leagues without being exposed to waivers, but the Sharks would risk losing any other player to a waiver claim. Otherwise, the Sharks will have to make some “tough decisions,” head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters Saturday morning, according to the Mercury News.
“We’ve got NHL players, in my mind, sitting out every night, so that puts everybody on notice when they’re in there to make the most of the fact that they’re in there, and take themselves out of that conversation for the next game,” DeBoer said.
Martin played in at least 78 games over each of his first two seasons in San Jose. He averaged over 19 minutes per night in ice time, and played alongside Brent Burns for the bulk of the last two years. Burns was a Norris Trophy finalist both years, and won the award last season.
Martin is under contract through the end of next season, and carries a $4.85 million salary cap hit. He can submit a list of six teams he will not accept a trade to, according to Cap Friendly.