Paul Martin D PIT 4 Months

Paul Martin will likely be testing free agency next summer.

Martin is entering the final year of a contract that carries a $5 million cap hit. The Penguins think the 33-year-old wants to test the market next summer, and new general manger Jim Rutherford is keen on getting the team's best defensive prospects into the fold. Martin tallied 15 points in 39 games last season, and has been considered the team's best defenseman the past two seasons, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Paul Martin D PIT 6 Months

Paul Martin is sixth in the league with an average of 27:32 minutes per game.

Martin is also tied for third place among defenders with eight points in 10 postseason games. "He's huge. He's been huge all playoffs long," Kris Letang said. "He's a really calm guy on the back end. He's really poised with the puck, plays big minutes against top guys. He does everything well on the ice, so he's been a huge asset for us." He was limited to just 39 games during the regular season, but as long as he's healthy, he should continue to be one of the most important players on the Penguins' roster, which is saying a lot given the star power they have.

Paul Martin D PIT 6 Months

Paul Martin has bounced back substantially over the last two seasons.

Martin wasn't pleased with his first two campaigns with the Penguins in 2010-2011 and 2011-12, but he's managed to elevate his game with the help of assistant coach Todd Reirden. "He's just completely different than he was two years ago," Reirden said. "And it's not always what people notice. He's committed to being in the gym now. He's always had that uncanny ability to make the game look easy. With the added strength and a better conditioning level now, he wins more puck battles. He's winning 50/50 battles now, which gives him the puck more often. And he's great with the puck. I like this version of Paul much more than the one two years ago." Martin has eight assists and a plus-nine rating in nine playoff games.

Paul Martin D PIT 6 Months

Paul Martin recorded two assists in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

Martin is on a four game point streak. He has a league-leading eight assists in four playoff contests. He won't maintain that pace, but if the Penguins enjoy a lengthy playoff run, then there's a good chance that Martin will end up as one of the NHL's top scoring defensemen.

Paul Martin D PIT 6 Months

Paul Martin had two assists in Pittsburgh's 4-3 win over Columbus in Game 1 of the first round.

Martin missed the better part of the regular season, but the big thing for Pittsburgh is that he's healthy now. He had two goals and 11 points in 15 games during the Penguins' 2013 playoff run.

Paul Martin D PIT 7 Months

Paul Martin scored a power-play goal in his return from a hand injury.

Martin missed nearly two months due to the injury. He has three goals and 13 points in 34 games this season.

Paul Martin D PIT 7 Months

Paul Martin (hand) will be back in the lineup Thursday versus Winnipeg.

He was injured during the 2014 Sochi Olympics while playing for the United States and hasn't played for the Penguins since Feb. 7. Martin has 12 points in 33 games this season.

Paul Martin D PIT 7 Months

Paul Martin (hand) took part in Monday's practice.

"It was just good in general to be out with the guys," said Martin. "It's been a long couple weeks, so it's nice to see light at end of the tunnel and get back to practice and hopefully play soon." He's been out for 17 straight contests, but might be back this weekend. That being said, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma cautioned that there's no concrete date for his return yet.

Paul Martin D PIT 7 Months

Paul Martin (hand) has resumed skating.

He's slated to have another X-ray on his hand this weekend. He suffered a broken hand during the Sochi Olympics, which required surgery to repair.

Paul Martin D PIT 8 Months

Penguins defenseman Paul Martin, who broke his right hand while playing for Team USA at the Olympics, had surgery Thursday.

Coach Dan Bylsma said doctors felt that surgery "would be a better avenue for recovery, a quicker recovery." Martin is a top-notch, stay-at-home blueliner. His offensive numbers this season: two goals, 10 assists, in 33 games.