Early this offseason, Matt Martin and general manager Lou Lamoriello made a handshake deal to resign later in the offseason once Lamoriello had an idea of how much Matthew Barzal is expecting. However, with training camp ramping up for the Islanders in the next few days, Lamoriello is pressed for time to maintain components of the team. He made handshake deals with Andy Greene, Cory Schneider, and of course Matt Martin. However, with little time left to negotiate with these veterans, Lamoriello came to terms with these three without inking Barzal. Martin’s deal is far from strenuous on cap space. The fourth liner is signed to a four-year deal with an average annual salary of $1.5 million. The deal will keep the fan-favorite enforcer on the Island throughout his early to mid-30s.
Martin’s Recent Performance
In the NHL’s return to play, Martin exceeded all expectations the Islanders put forth for him. In an 82-game season, he usually puts up anywhere from 7-20ish points. He nearly reached his average season total in the playoffs which lasted a quarter of the time. If Martin can keep up this production, it makes this deal even more team-friendly.
The Fourth Line Enforcers
Martin will likely continue to play with fourth lines Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas meaning Ross Johnston may receive more minutes on the third line or could just become a healthy scratch. The deal is definitely comforting because Martin is a crucial part of this team since coach Trotz rolls all four lines. Fans in the stands or not, Martin is likely to give rivals in the MassMutual division a pounding along the boards. Also, it would be no surprise if he gets tangled up in a couple of fights throughout the season. It is great to hear Martin will be back in the orange and blue. What do you think of this deal? Is Martin worth it? Please leave your thoughts on the deal in the comments section below.