John's Player Reviews, #17, Matt Martin

Big Matt Martin played in 68 total games this season, and seemed to establish himself a bit more strongly as the season went on. He was often a heating machine out there, and, of course, his physical presence made him one of my “personal” favorites out there. He even showed a bit of his “scoring” touch in a few instances, though potting more goals and using his size as a nightly obstacle in front of opposing goaltenders is something we hope to see a lot more of from Matt Martin.

Martin was tried a few times on a line with Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey. His physical presence gave his line mates a bit more open ice to work with, but it didn’t seem that the chemistry really “clicked”. Thus, for the most part, Matt played on the fourth line and did his job playing the body and dropping the gloves when it was necessary. He might not have gotten the attention as much as a Konopka or a Gillies, but Matt Martin did his job well.Martin picked up 5 goals and 9 assists over the course of his 68 games played. I would have to give him a B Minus in his overall rating mainly based on the belief that I think Matt Martin can contribute more on the offense side of the game. If he continues to develop and can use his size effectively in front of the net, I have no doubts that he can score 15 or more goals in a season. Without a doubt, I feel his hitting and intensity is a great asset to the team, and I would not want him to change his game from that style. However, I still think that the “power forward” role is not something that is unreasonable to expect from Matt Martin.

As for the Islanders and free agency. Marty Reasoner is, thus far, the only notable signing by Garth Snow. I know many fans were hoping for a more active presence in the market by the Isles, but the summer is hardly over. There are still some gems hidden out there, and Snow’s track record for finding them cannot be overlooked.

Personally, I wasn’t expecting the team to make any major signings. If anything “big” occurs, I would expect it via the trade route. Even with that, I think it will have to be a player that will definitely make an impact here, and the cost for getting him can’t break our bank. Thus, we will have to wait and see what happens as July unfolds.

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