2018-2019 was the return of Matt Martin to the New York Islanders. What can we expect from him in year two back in New York?
The last time the New York Islanders made a trade was on July 3, 2018. The Islanders sent Eamon McAdam to the Maple Leafs in order to get fourth liner, Matt Martin. Islander fans were ecstatic when Matty was returning to Long Island.
Despite being born in Windsor, Ontario Matt Martin really made Long Island home during his first stint with the Isles. Martin was happy to be returning back to the Isles even though the expectations were low because of who the team he was previously with, pried away from the Islanders.
The return of Matt Martin meant one thing, the reunion of the Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck line that was so successful from 2013-2016. That line didn’t disappoint in their reunion season.
For Martin, he played in 67 games, keep in mind he only played 50 the previous year due to healthy scratches, and finished with 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists). It was the prototypical Matt Martin offensive production (he had exactly 14 points four times previously in his career).
Matt was also back up to 275 hits, up from only 147 a year prior. Over a full season that’s a pace of 336 which is right on par for his prime hitting days the first go around with the Isles.
What happened to his two linemates was almost more impressive. Casey Cizikas had the best year of his career. He finished the season with 20 goals, his previous career high was nine which he surpassed in January.
Cal Clutterbuck, who was a nonfactor in 2017-2018 was back to his regular self as well.
Matt Martin should continue to play every night with the New York Islanders on their fourth line along with Cizikas and Clutterbuck. The Isles have a ton of bottom-six forwards but those three work very well together.
Martin, if healthy, should return to over 300 hits and maybe something like 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists). Despite eclipsing 30 years old, the Isles will likely look to bring him back on a team-friendly deal.
Again, the Isles have a million bottom sixers under contract but they seem to love Matty, the fans love Matty, and he loves being here. A two-year, $1 million AAV deal seems more than fine for Matt (there shouldn’t be much of a market for him, based on this past year’s free agency).