New York Islanders forward Matt Martin might walk in free agency, Arthur Staple of Newsday speculates.

The Bash Brothers are at risk of getting sundered.

Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck, two-thirds of one of the most prolific fourth lines in the history of hockey, might not compete on the same team when the puck drops at Barclays Center next October, Arthur Staple of Newsday has speculated.

The duo has combined for more hits over the past three seasons than any other combination in the league.

Along with Casey Cizikas, who signed a five-year contract extension last night, the line has generated momentum, lit the lamp and personified the phrase “all guts no glory.”

But Martin appears to be on his way out. Despite seemingly enjoying his time on the Island and “Borough of Homes,” the unrestricted free agent hasn’t been in talks with Isles GM Garth Snow since the season concluded.

RELATED: Could Max Jones Be On The Brain Of The Isles?

“They’re a physical group and when you step out on the ice and you’re the opposition, you’re going to know Clutterbuck, Cizikas and Martin are out there,” head coach Jack Capuano said after practice at Iceworks in Syosset before the Isles’ first game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. “It’s a group that when you show video and you’re trying to do things the right way, that’s the way they do things.”

The path Snow is seemingly taking has drawn the ire of fans who are pondering why the Isles would try to fix something that ain’t broke. After all, hockey analyst/certifiable crazy person Don Cherry once dubbed the threesome as the league’s best (generously translated from gibberish by Dan Saraceni of Lighthouse Hockey):

MacLean: Garth Snow you love and why don’t you just give him credit as you admire the line-up of the…

Cherry: COACH CAPALANO, TOO. THIS HERE IS THE FOURTH LINE WITH THEIR TEAM – THE TOUGHEST LINE IN HOCKEY. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT CLUTTERBUCK, MARTIN AND SIZITAS. THIS HERE LINE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, MARTIN AND CLUTTERBUCK HAVE LEAD THE LEAGUE FOR SEVEN YEARS – OFF AND ON, EITHER ONE – FOR HITS IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT. THIS IS MAY BE THE BEST FOURTH LINE EVER IN HOCKEY AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED. BOTH GUYS… AND YA GOTTA GIVE GARTH SNOW CREDIT. BECAUSE GARTH SNOW IS THE GUY THAT TOOK ALL THE ABUSE WHEN HE MADE BAD TRADES AND EVERYTHING. THIS IS THE GUY WHO PUT THE TEAM TOGETHER. GOOD FOR HIM AND… AT LEAST HE’S GETTING A LITTLE…

MacLean: Yeah, it’s fantastic.

Despite Cherry’s possible overreaction, the point is clear: the Isles’ fourth line is a feared trio that features the perennial hits leader, an explosive center and a mustache who has a penchant for scoring huge goals.

This “ugly” brand of hockey is epitomized by Martin, who is an elite body checker and always finishes off hits. He loves to play a rugged, physical style, and he has the body and determination to do just that.

Now, it’s impossible to ever tell what Snow’s up to. He’s incredibly unpredictable, and has a great poker face. But to see Staple — who normally doesn’t venture into the world of forecasting moves — confidently predict that Martin won’t be back in blue and orange next season speaks volumes.

 CHECK OUT the New York Islanders Team Center: News, Stats, Standings 

So one has to ponder why Snow wouldn’t make a valiant effort to bring back Martin. Well, for one, he isn’t nearly as effective on the penalty kill as “Zeeker” or “Clutcherbuck.”

Another feasible explanation would be a combination of the money Martin’s requesting and the money the Isles desire to haul in a huge free agent.

A final rationale could be Martin’s limited defensive prowess. Despite being paired with two of the best defensive offensemen in the league, he has often struggled in his own zone.

Should the Isles re-sign Martin even if it means missing out on Steven Stamkos? Is it a wise move for the Isles not target the bruising winger? Or is Garth Snow just bluffing again?

Those questions should be answered in the coming weeks, when the free agency window opens.

NEXT: The Biggest Drains On The New York Rangers Salary Cap


NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU


Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.