Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero started Thursday with about $11 million to play with and two priorities in mind. First, add a veteran winger that can play on either of the top two lines and second, solidify the defense.
After securing Zbynek Michalek's signature earlier, the Penguins went two-for-two with their targets by adding Paul Martin(notes) with a five-year, $25 million deal. ESPN's Scott Burnside broke the news and earlier had Tweeted that Martin was choosing between the Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings.
Not a physical defenseman by any means, Martin could be the replacement for Sergei Gonchar as Pittsburgh's power-play quarterback and puck-moving blue liner. Martin hasn't lit up the score sheet during his time in New Jersey, but you'd expect a bump being added to the Penguins lineup and finding a spot on the power play.
With a little over $2 million to the salary cap ceiling, Shero can still make a move for a forward or leave that money available in order to remain flexible during the season. It looks like another year of "rent-a-winger" for the Penguins, but with their moves already Thursday, that just might not such a terrible thing.