NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 11: Paul Martin #7 of the New Jersey Devils gets away from Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres at the Prudential Center on April 11, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
I am sure at this point all of you have read Tom Gulitti's post on Fire & Ice and Rich Chere's article that Paul Martin plans to test the free agent market and unless something drastically changes he will not be re-signed before noon tomorrow. There are some different quotes in each article and I wanted to quickly try to read between the lines of Martin's comments. See more after the jump.
Martin, 29, stressed again that exploring the market doesn't mean that he won't re-sign with the Devils. In fact, he said. "New Jersey is still right at the top of my list."
Of course this is a positive statement, but one that shows that Martin may not be looking to burn any bridges if he doesn't get any offers from teams that meet his needs. Plus, he has been saying similar things throughout the last month.
These quotes below in Gulitti's post, to me, are a bit troubling
That said, Martin isn't ready yet to tell Lamoriello he "wants to be a Devil," at least by the way he understands Lamoriello's definition of the term.
"What Lou means is to be a Devil certain guys take less money to be part of a winning organization and that kind of thing," Martin said. "To a point, certain people go there and they'll take less money. It's if you're willing to be a Devil under what they expect, It basically comes down to if I want to do that as far taking money aside. I think that's what he's looking for to know, I believe."
Wait, what? Martin can't tell the Devils he really wants to be a Devil yet? If you read Chere's article at the same time the quote above doesn't seem as bad.
"He made a point that we haven't been successful lately not being able to get past the second round of the playoffs for seven years. And you do have certain guys who sign for less than what they could get somewhere else."
OK, a little bit better but not much. So Devils fans that means no hometown discount from Paul Martin, or so it would seem at this time.
"We really didn't even talk numbers. I talked to him about three times. I think the option is there. It hasn't been, 'This is what we're looking for,' or 'This is what we can give you.' Kind of like a little standoff, but it hasn't been negative at all."
One of the troubling things about both articles is that I can't recall the last time a free agent was this forthcoming with information and ended up being signed or re-signed by the Devils.
Plus, they haven't talked numbers yet and he is the Devils #1 priority? I understand making sure that the player wants to stay with the team, but you would think some numbers would have been discussed. Also, at this point if Martin cannot answer the 'Do you want to be a Devil?' question I think his non-answer might speak volumes.
OK, maybe I have too much time on my hands or I am trying to find something in his words that aren't there but does this sound like a player who is going to re-sign? I think it's clear that a hometown discount might be out of the equation and the Devils will be forced to match a salary offer in the $5MM-$6MM range. It is possible that realizing he may have to match a free market offer Lou Lamoriello reacted to that early moved some cap room today to ensure he could offer Martin enough to match any offer out there.
It's been a whirlwind day of emotions for Devils news with David Clarkson re-signing and the buyout's of Jay Pandolfo and Andrew Peters, but tomorrow should be just as exciting. I just hope it's not disappointing. Only about 18 hours to the free agency frenzy folks. Get ready.
So I felt like throwing this out to the readers out there to see what you think...see the poll below....Will the Devils re-sign Paul Martin???
Will Paul Martin re-sign with the New Jersey Devils?
Yes (92 votes)
No (196 votes)
288 total votes