On Relative Value

A lot of people seem to be advocating for the trade of Paul Martin. I think, for better or worse, that this will happen. But, I also think the trade deadline will be the wrong time to make this move. It would be nearly impossible to get comparable value for Martin at the deadline.

The best trade the Pens can make with Paul Martin is one that will exchange Martin for a couple of studly offensive prospects. This will clear up the cap space that we desperately need and fill about the only gap in the Pens system – which is to say, offensive prospects. I mean, Eric Tangradi just hasn’t panned out as we would like (although he very nearly got his first goal of the season yesterday, and did get a quality assist), and a lot of the other guys in the minors are really “grinder” type players, who are invaluable, but also don’t help the offense that much.

Of course, trading Martin for prospects has several real issues. First off, it won’t help the Pens this year, prospects are great, but they aren’t going to improve your NHL team. Secondly, there aren’t a whole lot of teams that have the cap room to eat the remainder of Martin’s contract while the Pens would likely attempt to pick up other contracts of lesser value. Third, if the Pens really want to trade Martin at the deadline their best course of action would be to trade him to a contending team in exchange for some offensive help. If it works out it could be a great move, but it could also backfire horribly. Further, bringing in a top offensive player who will be under contract for another few seasons would only complicate the salary cap situation for the Pens this offseason, when personally, I think they really need to be interested in signing Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby to long term contracts.

Moving Martin would be better in the offseason, if you move him then, more teams will be interested and more teams will have the money to pay him. This same situation seems to be why we haven’t seen a Rick Nash trade, and the Blue Jackets do not have even a fraction of the player personnel competency that the Penguins do.

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