Thursday, December 24, 2009

Martin has minor surgery, out at least 4 more weeks

Recently, our NJD blogger Hasan was pondering what was really up with defenseman Paul Martin. Apparently, he knew as yesterday the Devils' top blueliner underwent minor surgery for the broken forearm he was recovering from. The 28 year-old who can turn unrestricted next summer suffered the injury two months ago in a game versus Pittsburgh after blocking a Bill Guerin shot.

In nine games this season, Martin has tallied two assists with no penalty minutes. The Devils have been fine without him thanks to inspired play from Andy Greene along with surprising Mark Fraser. Helping ease the loss, Johnny Oduya just returned last week, adding more insurance for big minute men Greene, Bryce Salvador and Colin White. With the Devs atop the NHL standings with 53 points in three less games than the Pens, Martin doesn't have to rush back. However, his Olympic aspirations of participating in a second straight Winter Games for Team USA took a hit.

No question that My Favorite Martin was expected to be one of the staples on the American blueline with former Devil 'mate Brian Rafalski. Hopefully, he'll return in time. Otherwise, maybe Keith Ballard replaces him. Another possibility might be Greene. We'll have more Team USA discussion as it gets closer. A few of Martin's American teammates should be represented in top sniper Zach Parise, potential captain Jamie Langenbrunner and possibly a resurgent Brian Rolston.

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