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Iginla in, but Martin out six weeks for Pens

by: Rob Rossi Updated:


PITTSBURGH - The Penguins are adding Jarome Iginla, but they have subtracted Paul Martin.

Iginla, acquired in a trade with Calgary early Thursday morning, will play against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center this afternoon.

He will work as the left winger -- the off side for Iginla, who has mostly played on the right wing -- with center Evgeni Malkin and right winger James Neal, coach Dan Bylsma said.

"I just want to play," Iginla said, noting that he was awarded a working visa Friday, when he left Calgary but missed a connecting flight in Chicago.

Iginla did not arrive in Pittsburgh until after midnight Saturday.

He said he has played left wing before, specifically early during his Calgary career when Theo Fleury was the Flames' top right winger.

Iginla, 35, had never played for another NHL club before joining the Penguins.

"They have a great team here an obviously great chemistry," said Iginla, who waived a contractual clause to join the Penguins even though he had captained the Flames since 2003.

"I'm just coming here to fit in, come work hard with them and compete.

"The goal is to win."

The Penguins will keep together their top line of left winger Chris Kunitz, center Sidney Crosby and right winger Pascal Dupuis.

The third line will consist of left winger Brenden Morrow, center Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke, who will move from left to right wing.

Right winger Tyler Kennedy will play on a fourth line with center Craig Adams and left winger Tanner Glass, Bylsma said.

Iginla, like Morrow, acquired Sunday from Dallas, has only played once in a Stanely Cup Final. Neither player has won the Cup.

Both players, like defenseman Douglas Murray, acquired Monday from San Jose, are on expiring contracts.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said he has not discussed new contracts with his newest players, and Iginla said Saturday that an extension is not on his mind.

Iginla is joing a Penguins squad that leads the Eastern Conference and has won 14 consecutive games.

They will try to extend that streak without Martin, their leader in minutes played on defense.

Martin was injured Thursday in a win over Winnipeg."He did break a bone and will require surgery," Bylsma said of Martin's upper-body injury.

Bylsma declined other specifics, though he said Martin would miss about six weeks.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are set to open April 30, which means Martin could miss the entire first round.

Martin missed most of the 2009-10 season, his last with New Jersey, because of broken left forearm.

Martin is first among Penguins defensemen with six goals, and his 21 points are second to Kris Letang's 28.

Letang will miss a second straight game with a broken toe. He was injured Tuesday and is projected by the Penguins to miss a week to 10 days.

Rookie Simon Despres is "capable" of stepping into an expanded role given the defensive injuries, Bylsma said.

Despres has played in 25 games, scoring twice and recording seven points to go with a plus-10 rating.

Martin and Brooks Orpik had formed the Penguins' shutdown defense pairing this season, and Bylsma said Saturday that Letang, upon his return, "would be a good option" to play with Orpik.

This article was written by Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.