With the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup victory on Thursday night, the NHL’s annual buy out period is now officially underway. Teams have until June 30th to buy players out of their current contracts and receive cap relief for the 2018-19 season. There are some obvious candidates out there including Calgary Flames forward Troy Brouwer and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin, but so far not a single player has been released from his contract this offseason.
But, according to a report from San Jose Sharks insider Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, a buy out is coming for veteran defenseman Paul Martin. Kurz reports that there’s a “strong possibility” that Martin gets bought out by the end of the month, earning the Sharks an extra $2.8 million to use in free agency in pursuit of a player like John Tavares or Ilya Kovalchuk.
There’s a “strong possibility” the SJSharks will buy out the final year of Paul Martin’s contract, I’m told. That would gain the Sharks approximately $2.8 million in cap space for next season. Buyout period begins shortly.
Martin played just 14 regular season games for the Sharks in 2017-18 due to an ankle issue. The 37 year old veteran was waived by the Sharks in January in order to get him some playing time with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson acknowledged at the time that he was working with Martin’s agent to “explore all options” for Martin moving forward. In other words, Wilson was hoping to trade Martin but couldn’t find any interested trade partners. As a result, it looks like Martin will be cut loose by the Sharks and enter the free agent market.
In his last full season, 2016-17, Martin proved himself to still be a capable defender, putting up four goals and 26 points in 81 games. He was also a +10 on the campaign and managed just 20 penalty minutes all season. While he may not be the power play quarterback that he was earlier in his career, Martin still has the ability to play in almost any situation and should find himself the recipient of a one year deal from a Stanley Cup contender looking to bolster their defence, or a young team looking for some veteran stewardship.
If this is in fact the end of the road for Martin in the NHL, he’ll finish his career with 50 goals and 320 points in 870 games.