The New York Islanders have many pending unrestricted free agents, but there is one that they must re-sign. Matt Martin is a great asset to the Islanders.
As we head towards another season, the New York Islanders have many deals that they have to get done to assemble their squad for the new season. They have contracts of RFA’s that they have to take care of and they have a handful of players that are UFA’s. One unrestricted free agent that the Islanders should like to strike a deal with is Matt Martin.
The 31-year-old forward is heading for free agency for the second time as an Islander. The last time he was “on the market,” he signed a four year contract worth a total of $10 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As we all remember, when Lou Lamoriello came to town as the Islanders general manager, one of the first moves he made was trading to bring the enforcer back to Long Island, halfway through his four-year deal.
The 2018 trade was a one for one deal, as shown below:
Now that Martin’s four-year deal is up, the Islanders front office has a question to ask themselves, do we re-sign the fan-favorite or let him go to the free-agent market?
Consistency and Leadership
Martin is one player that plays a very consistent game. Night in and night out, he plays the same game and does not stray from it. Everyone knows exactly what they are going to get from the big enforcer.
He plays physical and a strong positional game. Even though he may not get the most ice time, Matin still can easily change the momentum of a game in his team’s favor in just one shift.
Martin sticks up for his teammates when they are victim to a questionable hit, but can also punish teams by putting a puck in their net.
He seemed to pick up a step in the 2020 postseason and some will say that he was skating at his best. He stole the show around the NHL when he scored timely playoff goals. He had five goals and three assists in 55 regular-season games, then in his 22 post-season games during the Islanders run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Martin had five goals and one assist. He also had a huge fight in the ECF against Barclay Goodrow of the Tampa Bay Lightning, after Goodrow delivered a cheap head-shot to
As of today, Martin is third in hits during the 2020 playoffs, only behind two players who are currently playing the Stanley Cup Final.
It seems that players that play to Martin’s enforcer style are not prevalent in today’s game and very few of these players are consistent NHLers. These players are valuable to all teams and provide qualities that can change a game without the need of scoring a goal.
He definitely has some years left in the tank and can definitely be a key player whose consistent showing every game can be a key asset to the Isles as they look to create history in the 2020-2021 season.
The Islanders should try and sign Martin to a one or multi-year contract. He is a player that will be extremely hard to find a replacement for.
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Most Islanders fans hope Matt Martin has not played his last game as a member of the Islanders and hope that the parties secure a deal before other teams get a chance to sign him when free agency opens up on October 9th. If the Islanders and Martin cannot get a deal done, expect many teams to hold talks to sign the powerful fourth liner.
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*