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Islanders: Is Re-Signing Matt Martin Worth It?

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 02: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 02: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders fan favorite, Matt Martin is set to be a UFA. Should the Islanders re-sign Martin for the 2020-2021 season?

I can’t believe we’re at this point again. It feels like just yesterday that Matt Martin became a UFA and signed a four-year $10 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. At the time, it seemed like the New York Islanders would retain the fan-favorite but he couldn’t pass up that kind of lucrative contract from Toronto.

Just two years later, Lou Lamoriello took over as GM of the Islanders and traded for Martin, who fell out of favor with the coaches in Toronto, and the guy who signed him to that lucrative deal in the first place brought him home.

Now, we’ve reached that point again for Martin. In his age 30 season, Martin has eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) in 55 games played. He plays just over 10 minutes a night and doesn’t fight or hit nearly as much as he once did.

Martin has 242 hits this year, which is a long way removed from his 382 that he had in 2014-2015. Unfortunately for the Islanders in 2019-2020, the “best fourth line ever” wasn’t together for very many games.

That’s what happens when guys get older. Clutter’s 32, Casy is 28, this isn’t the same line that it was five years ago. When they’re together, all three of them, they’re still good it’s just not that dominant force we were once used to.

With that being said, it seems like both Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello value that line tremendously so I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Matt Martin back, I just don’t think it’ll be anything close to what he got the last time.

It should be a one or two-year deal at the absolute most with an AAV no higher than $1 million. If the price gets higher in negotiating, just let Matty walk and put Leo Komarov in his spot.

I love the guy, he’s a good leader a tremendous human off the ice and he genuinely loves Long Island which I appreciate so much but you can’t be paying Matt Martin more than $1 million a year for his role, especially with the cap crunch the Islanders face this offseason.

Prioritizing this line doesn’t make sense anymore, especially when you consider that they struggle to stay healthy. But if Martin wants to stay, which I think he does, and he takes a “team-friendly deal” then I’m for keeping him.

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But paying for nostalgia would be a mistake. Lou Lamoriello, who has been known to pay for nostalgia and pay big money for bottom-six forwards, has to be careful.

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