4 Islanders players who shouldn’t return next season

Since the New York Islanders have underperformed this season, it’s time to jettison a few players and turn the page on what has been a trying year.

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Matt Martin is one whose best days are behind him

Matt Martin is another seasoned veteran who has enjoyed a storied career in the NHL, but as in the case with Clutterbuck, he’s also someone whose decline is fast approaching. He’s made a living on the lower lines throughout 15 years in the NHL and has been a fixture in this New York Islanders organization for most of those seasons. 

Also, like Clutterbuck, Martin has been one of the league’s hardest-hitting players, registering over four hits per game for a team that has routinely been one of the NHL’s most physical. But once again, getting younger and more productive offensively should be the goal this offseason, and Martin doesn’t fit the criteria.

The solution? Let Martin go in unrestricted free agency along with Clutterbuck. The hard-nosed, physical play has not helped New York for the most part over the past three seasons, so while it would be bittersweet, at best, to see players like Martin and Clutterbuck go, it’s also the best move for the organization’s future.

Finding more consistent scorers, even on the lower lines, should be the goal this offseason, or at least kickstarting the process. Martin and Clutterbuck leaving, or at least that should be the case, and going elsewhere won’t help the Islanders much in terms of cap space, but they also need a starting point to restructure.