Matt Martin has become a fan favorite for the New York Islanders since being called up from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a few years ago. Martin plays with an edge to his game and leads the NHL almost every year in registered hits. He has solidified himself as an above average fourth line forward who can drop the gloves and even create some offense from time to time. With all that being said, should the Islanders look to move him before the Mar. 5 trade deadline, and would there be interest?
I am skeptical for a few reasons. First and foremost, Martin is the only forward on the Islanders that can fight other than Eric Boulton. If the Islanders were to move Martin, they would have to dress Boulton more or add another tough guy to their roster. Secondly, I don’t know if the Islanders would receive a return worthwhile for Martin. He does bring size and a mean streak with him, but no team is going to trade the kitchen sink for him. I can see a team moving an average prospect and a third-round pick for Martin’s services. Wouldn’t it be smarter just to keep him?
The answer is yes in my opinion. This is Boulton’s last year with the team, and Martin will be expected to fight more next season. I do want to make it known that I am not in favor of dressing Martin for every single game, and I think he needs to step up his game next year. Martin has had an abysmal season on both ends of the ice, and he seems to be making costly mistakes almost every shift he gets.
The addition of Cal Clutterbuck has also seemed to put added pressure on Martin because they both are known for their checking. If Martin doesn’t start to distinguish himself from Clutterbuck, the Islanders might actually trade him. For now, I think the Islanders would be smart to hang on to Martin and see if he can bounce back next season. This year has been a tough for almost every player on the Islanders, and I am not going to jump the gun and give up on Martin prematurely. The Islanders shouldn’t either.