Matt Martin returned to the New York Islanders after two years in Toronto. He had a solid season in his fourth line role.
When Lou Lamoriello came in and took over the New York Islanders it wasn’t too surprising that he traded for Matt Martin. Martin kind of fell out of favor in Toronto, playing just 50 games last year and being a healthy scratch down the stretch of the season.
Lamoriello moved Eamon McAdam, who was well down in the prospect pool, for Martin which was more than fair compensation. Islanders fans were happy that they landed Martin to reunite the fourth line.
The Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck line was probably the best line the Islanders had this past season. They were consistent and you knew what you were getting from them on a nightly basis.
The now, 29-year-old Martin had some question marks as to if he would still be effective like he was during his first stint with the club. I think we found out that Matt is more than capable of being an effective fourth line player.
In 67 games, he had 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists). That’s about where he usually averages out he’s hit the 14 point mark exactly five times in his 10-year career. Part of the reason for his resurgence was his ice time.
If you look at his playing time in Toronto it was virtually nonexistent. He played 8:54 and 7:59 a night in his two years with the Maple Leafs. That went up to 11:26 with the Isles this past season as the Isles are more likely to run balanced ice times.
Something Matt did that made him effective is hit. Yes, we know Matt Martin is a checking forward but last year he had a really down year in hits. He only had 147. Granted, part of it had to do with playing time but he got back to the basics of his game this year racking up 275 hits, good enough for fifth in the league.
Overall, this was about as typical of a season for Matt Martin as you could get.
Martin’s season to me seems like an easy B+. A grade in the A’s seems a little unrealistic but a very solid B+ seems up to par with how Matt Martin’s season went.
Matty is heading into the final year of his contract. It could be the last year of Martin on the Island, we’ll have to wait and see how this upcoming year goes. If it goes well, I’m for bringing him back, if it’s on a reasonable deal for a fourth liner that is.