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Report: Martin’s sidelined with hand injury (Update: Might miss a month)

Feb 21, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Paul Martin #7 of the United States skates against the Czech Republic during the Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff on Day 12 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

As previously reported, defenseman Paul Martin will not be able to play for the United States in its semifinals game against Canada today.

While it was originally thought that an illness was responsible for Martin’s absence, it now looks like he is actually dealing with a hand injury, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi. The severity of his injury isn’t clear yet, so naturally there’s also no timetable for his return.

This is a potentially serious blow for the Pittsburgh Penguins though. They’ve already basically secured the first seed in the Metropolitan Division, but they will be counting on Martin to play a significant role in their playoff run.

This also might prove to be the latest in a string of major injuries to come out of the 2014 Winter Games. The New York Islanders have lost John Tavares to a torn MCL, the Rangers will have to get by without leading scorer Mats Zuccarello because of a non-displaced fracture, and the Florida Panthers lost both Tomas Kopecky and Aleksander Barkov to a head injury and knee problem respectively.

It’s worth adding that Henrik Zetterberg was shutdown during the Olympics due to a back injury, but Red Wings GM Ken Holland felt that unfortunate setback was unrelated to the Winter Games.

Meanwhile, Islanders GM Garth Snow asked why the Olympics should reap the benefits of showcasing the world’s top talent when NHL teams are assuming the risks.

There are certainly arguments to be made in support of the NHL’s continued involvement in the Winter Games, but these injuries will doubtlessly be brought up by those who feel the current NHL relationship with the Olympics should be changed.

Update: Martin is tentatively expected to miss a month, but assessment is coming before the Penguins have had a chance to evaluate him, so that timetable should be taken with a grain of salt.

  1. jpelle82 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    balls. no martin or letang to run the #1 pp. niskanen better get a fat contract after all the work he’s put in this year, big minutes, #1 in the nhl in +/-, career year in points and goals. you would think the guy just needed an opportunity eh?

    • hockey412 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      He’s shown a lot more, but I think some of it may just be that he’s developed and finally hit that “confident” stage this year. He’s tied with Crosby for 2nd on the team in GWG…he’s been pretty ‘clutch’ (I hate that word).

      He can’t take the place of Letang as far as skating the puck up the ice, but he can do his job on the PP. It will have to be one of the other left shots to take Martin’s place, but I didn’t think they lost much with him out the first time.

      As for the US Team, I don’t think they’ll miss a beat without him.

      • joey4id - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Niskanen is an UFA so I’m not sure he’ll return to Pitt. I believe he doesn’t give the puck up as much as Letang.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        it will be a travesty if the penguins dont extend him in the next couple weeks in my opinion…especially with the letang situation. this year the pens are looking at just niskanen, scuderi, orpik, despres, and engelland with any type of playoff experience on the blue line right now and despres and engelland have just a little over a handful of games at that. was really hoping it wouldnt be the same old story going into april – whether the defense can hold up in the playoffs. but if martin is out for any length of time and with letang probably not returning this year…well…it might just be that same question mark again.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Well now…smdh

  3. 950003cups - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Glass Martin, folks. This guy made a career of getting injured.

  4. 950003cups - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Gotta take the gold this year!!! Two more wins!!! USA!!!

  5. steelcity333 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    A Penguin gets hurt, what else is new. We just can’t stay completely healthy at all.

  6. killerpgh - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I wonder if Shero will cry to the media and want the IOC will reimburse his season ticket holder? Would make for an interesting twist considering he help pick the team.

  7. joey4id - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    What are we missing here? The players made a point that they wanted to participate in Sochi, and the league and owners agreed. Just stop the public outcry and fix your stuff internally. Spare us the complaints from all the rich spoiled hockey management folks.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      the only real complaint is from snow so far…i dont count snider because he’s obviously senile at this point anyway. holland wasnt complaining (in fact he was still endorsing participation), neither has sather yet. i dont expect to hear anything from the penguins, florida didnt say anything about kopecky and barkov. snow lost a bona fide superstar in tavares so i dont blame him either.

  8. penguins87and71 - Feb 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    This is a huge blow to the Penguins. If the Penguins are without Letang and Martin in the Playoffs, I’m not sure they can win the cup. This also throws wrench into the Penguins trade deadline plans.

  9. bobc74 - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    I’m not sure when the Olympics, which were originally games of skill for amateurs, turned into skills competitions between professionals. I think it was whatever Olympics featured the USA basketball “Dream Team”, or maybe it was when someone figured out people would pay money to see an arena tour of ice skating medalists. Either way, college and minor league sports programs have now matured to the point where professional athletes shouldn’t have to put their career and future earning potential on the line just to say they competed “for their country”. Besides if there are no capable amateurs to play a particular position, I hear Lolo Jones is always looking for an opportunity.

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