Depth will continue to be a problem spot for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the immediate future, as the team announced Tuesday that defensman Paul Martin will likely miss four to six weeks with a broken hand he sustained at the Sochi Olympics.
Martin sat out Team USA’s final two games of the Olympic tournament after injuring his right hand in a quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic last Wednesday. The 32-year-old blueliner was sidelined 25 games earlier this season with a broken tibia, which he rehabbed in time to participate in the Penguins’ last 10 matches before the NHL’s Olympic break.
The Martin news comes directly from Dan Bylsma, who also served as the American head coach in the Olympics. Bylsma and Team USA could’ve used Martin’s puck-possession prowess against Canada and Finland, but now the burden of dealing with the injury falls on the Penguins.
Pittsburgh (40-15-3, 83 points) begins its 24-game sprint to the finish Thursday at Consol Energy Center when Montreal pays a visit. The Pens will then head outside Saturday for a Stadium Series game at Chicago’s Soldier Field that begins a five-game road trip.
Not only will Martin be unavailable for that journey, but also winger Beau Bennett. According to Bylsma, the 22-year-old second-year pro suffered a “setback” in his rehabilitation of a broken wrist. The Penguins medical staff estimates it will be another three to four weeks before Bennett is ready to play. He’s been out since Nov. 22.
Top-line winger Pascal Dupuis, who underwent surgery last month to repair a severely damaged knee, is rehabbing daily and remains on track for a fall return.