Ray Shero wanted defense, and my goodness did he get defense.
After bringing in Zbynek Michalek earlier in the day, Shero was once again swinging for the fences when he signed former Devils defenseman Paul Martin to a five-year, $25 million contract, capping off a three-hour period that saw him overhaul his team's blue line in a rather drastic way, scoring two of the top available defensemen on the market.
With Martin and Michalek added to the picture, the Penguins have heavily invested their cap space in centers (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal) and defensemen. According to CapGeek, the Penguins now have $18 million committed to Martin, Michalek, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski, and it leaves them with about $2 million in cap space. That, of course, means it's going to be awfully difficult for the Penguins to add wingers for their supremely talented trio of centers, but for a team that was fifth in the NHL in goals scored last season and 20th in goals allowed, the emphasis on defense appears to be the way to go.
If they can't find a way to fit in a forward (and it's going to be tough with the lack of cap space), prospects like Eric Tangradi, Nick Johnson or Dustin Jeffrey would obviously need to step up.
Martin, 29, played only 22 games last season due to an arm injury (which cost him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team) and scored two goals to go with nine assists. He's spent his entire career to this point with New Jersey, and is good for anywhere between 30 and 40 points, while also being capable of playing over 23 minutes per game.
They're still going to miss Gonchar's presence on the power play, but the addition or Martin, along with Michalek, gives Pittsburgh an extremely mobile and versatile defense, especially with Letang, Orpik and Goligoski already with the team.