Report: Penguins shedding veteran defensemen; will not retain Martin, Ehrhoff

Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY Sports

In search of speed and efficiency, the Pittsburgh Penguins are embracing a full update on their back end.

General manager Jim Rutherford will not attempt to re-sign defensemen Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff, opting instead to deploy the young core stockpiled by the previous regime, reports Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse.

To that, the Penguins have also decided against retaining Max Lapierre, according to TVA's Renaud Lavoie. Lapierre provided just two assists in 35 games after coming over in a midseason trade with the St. Louis Blues.

These decisions shouldn't be too difficult for Rutherford, who will free up $9 million in shedding the two defensemen alone. Ehrhoff and Lapierre were never able to assimilate into the Penguins' system, while salary cap restraints make it difficult to justify bringing back the useful, but ultimately fading, Martin.

Ehrhoff fell flat in his lone season with the organization, stumbling out of the gate offensively before having his campaign derailed by a concussion. He finished with 14 points in 49 games.

Martin, 34, has spent the last half-decade with the Penguins. He can still survive in a structured system, but no longer provides the same all-situations reliability.

Left behind, Kris Letang and Rob Scuderi are veterans still under contract for next season, while Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot will take on an increased role in their returns from injury.

Report: Penguins shedding veteran defensemen; will not retain Martin, Ehrhoff
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