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Penguins’ Martin Finally Got His Moment at the Olympics in 2014

By Dan Scifo - Special to USAHockey.com, 11/24/14, 1:00PM MST

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Martin made the 2006 and 2010 U.S. teams but finally played in 2014

The third time was a charm for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin.

Martin finally competed as a member of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team earlier this year during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 33-year-old Martin was named to his third straight U.S. Olympic Team, but played for the first time after he didn’t see any action during the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy, and suffered a broken arm that forced him to miss the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

“I think, for me, after not being able to play in Torino and to be injured in Vancouver, it was a big honor for me to be able to play a couple games,” Martin said. “I had a lot of family and friends come over, and just to wear the red, white and blue and to play was a good experience for me.”

The gravity of the moment hit Martin, a native of Elk River, Minn., during the national anthem in the team’s first game against Slovakia.

“Being on the blue line and hearing your country’s anthem with all my family and friends there… it was a moment that was building for a long time,” Martin said. “It gets pretty emotional just being there.”

The emotion continued to build and carried into the next game versus Russia, a historic preliminary-round thriller against the host team.

“It was huge in their homeland, and for us, there is a lot of pride at stake, obviously with these two countries being good hockey countries going back to the 1980s,” Martin said. “I think there’s a lot of history there too, and for us it was a big statement game.”

The Olympic run ended prematurely for Martin, who broke his hand during the Americans’ quarterfinal-round game against the Czech Republic. Martin, who missed 23 games earlier in the season with a broken leg, underwent surgery and returned before the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Martin’s injury was one of a few in Sochi that reignited the debate as to whether National Hockey League players should participate in the Olympic Winter Games, but Martin said he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I think you should play,” Martin said. “I was hurt [in the Olympics], but I wouldn’t give that up for anything. Any person would be honored to represent their country, and I’m all for it. Sometimes timing isn’t great with injuries, and to be out, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it all worked out in the end.”

This season, Martin continues to serve as a top shutdown defenseman under new coach Mike Johnston as Pittsburgh is again a force in the Metropolitan Division a quarter way through the season.

“I think we have a great team,” Martin said. “A couple adjustments with the new coaches I think have really benefited a lot of guys in here. It’s going well, we’re putting up some wins and hopefully we keep building on that.”

Martin started the season primarily paired with free agent acquisition Christian Ehrhoff before moving to work with Kris Letang after Olli Maatta left the lineup for two weeks to have a cancerous tumor removed from his thyroid gland.

“I think it’s a system that allows us to get up the ice, join the rush and contribute more offensively,” Martin said. “There’s a little more confidence in us being able to possess the puck and move it up the ice.”

Martin, who remains a key, stabilizing piece to the Penguins’ defense corps, is in the final year of a five-year, $25 million contract signed as a free agent in 2010. Martin has been the subject of trade talk with the Penguins seeking additional help at forward, but he isn’t worried about it.

“I don’t even pay attention to it,” Martin said. “I don’t want it to be a distraction, so my focus is here, playing hockey, and I’m sure everything else will take care of itself.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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2021-22 ATO | WEEK 15

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This week’s features: Facemasks and Age Levels...Officials' errors and face-off locations...Face-off procedures...and more.

QUESTION: Is there a specific facemask design that a 14U player must wear, as well as a 15U player?

ANSWER: Rule 304(c) & (d) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
 
(c) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications except Adults, are required to properly wear a HECC approved helmet as designed by the manufacturer and with no alterations and chin strap properly fastened.
(Note) HECC certification includes an expiration date on the sticker and a helmet that has an expiration date that has expired is no longer considered certified. The player may not wear a helmet that does not have a valid and current certification sticker.
 
Players in the Adult classification must wear a hockey helmet (including non-HECC approved) with chin strap properly fastened.

 
All players on the players’ and the penalty bench must wear the protective helmet/facemask while in the bench area. For a violation of this rule, after a warning by the Referee, a misconduct penalty for an equipment violation shall be assessed to the offending player.
 
(d) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications below Adults, are required to wear a facemask certified by HECC, plus any chin protection that accompanies the facemask.
(Note) Any helmet or facemask that is altered except as permitted in Rule 304(c) shall be deemed to be illegal equipment and shall not be allowed to be used in a game. The player, or such equipment, shall be removed from the game until corrected. (This shall include helmets from which a part has been cut or removed, facemasks from which the chin-cup has been removed or any other such alterations from the original manufacturing specifications.)

 
In other words, there is no type of helmet that is specifically “designed” for a specific age group. As long as the valid (check the date) HECC Sticker is present on the helmet, it is legal for play.

 

QUESTIONWhen a face-off is performed is it necessary for the puck to hit the ice between the two players before it can be touched, or can it be knocked out of the air before hitting the ice?

ANSWER: Situation 4 under Rule 613 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

The Linesman drops the puck and before it hits the ice, one of the centers hits the puck out of the air with the blade of his stick. Should the Linesman allow the play to continue?

Yes. Rule Reference 613(a).

As long as the player made a legal attempt to gain possession of the puck, the play shall be allowed to continue. If the Linesman had dropped the puck and it accidentally hit the stick or glove of either player facing-off, play must be immediately stopped and a new face-off conducted.

 

QUESTIONDoes a double-minor infraction count as one penalty or two? There was a game where a team earned either 14 or 15 penalties, depending on how many penalties a double-minor counts as. This difference would affect whether the coach receives a Game Misconduct or not.

ANSWER: Double-minor penalties are actually two separate minor penalties that are assessed at the same time under the Unnecessary Roughness rule. Therefore, they each count as a separate penalty (so two total).

 

QUESTION: The goalie makes a save during a scramble in front of the net. The referee is in the corner and loses sight of the puck, subsequently blowing his whistle. As he skates towards the net, he sees the puck is over the goal line, and now signals a goal. Does the referee need to see the puck crossing the goal line to award a goal? I don't think there was a way to determine whether the puck was already in the net, or if it ended up in the net after the whistle had blown.

ANSWER: If the official determines the puck entered the goal legally before the whistle was blown then the goal should be awarded. If he/she cannot determine 100% how the puck entered the goal, or confirm if it entered before the whistle, then the goal should be disallowed.

 

QUESTIONIf a defensive player completes a hand-pass entirely within the defensive zone and an official stops play in error since that play is legal, where should the face-off be?

ANSWER: This situation would result in a normal “last play” end-zone face-off in the defending zone.

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