Lou Lamoriello reunited the best fourth line in hockey by bringing Matt Martin, the player he originally signed in 2016, back to Long Island with the New York IslandersAfter spending the last two years over 450 miles apart, the New York Islanders have reunited the NHL’s best fourth line.
Matt Martin spent the last two seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs where his ice time was reduced by almost 20 percent and spent a large part of last season a healthy scratch, playing in only 50 games after playing in all 82 in 2016-17.
In the one-for-one trade, the Islanders sent Eamon McAdam to Toronto. McAdam was the Islanders’ third-round pick and spent last season going back and forth between the Islanders ECHL affiliate Worcester Railers and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Martin expressed excitement over his homecoming to Newsday’s Andrew Gross:
“I do think I can contribute in a similar way that I contributed before,” Martin said. “I’m as hungry as I’ve ever been. Last year wasn’t a lot of fun for me in a lot of ways. To get another opportunity with this team is unbelievable for me. I bleed orange, white and blue.”
After contract negotiations went south with the Islanders in 2016, then-Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello inked Martin to a four-year, $10 million deal. Now, Lamoriello reacquires his bottom-six grit on the same contract they agreed on two seasons prior.
The significance of a Martin reunion goes beyond what’s on paper. Martin’s chemistry with teammates Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck have been well-noted, namely from 2014-15 when Don Cherry coined them “the best fourth line in hockey.”
Off the ice, Martin brings his heart and dedication to the Islanders back home where it belongs. Though the forward spent the last two seasons with Toronto, Martin has remained an active member of the Long Island community.
The Matt Martin Foundation‘s presence is strong as ever, noted by Martin’s hockey academy that he hosted from June 25 – 29, all while still a member of the Maple Leafs.
Martin would even spend most of his offseason on Long Island, starting training regiments at Northwell Health before going out to Toronto.
The Islanders added a slew of bottom-six talent to their roster, with Martin being the most notable of the bunch to Isles fans. Joining him are Tom Kuhnhackl on a one-year deal and Leo Komarov on a four-year deal.
Lamoriello’s tweaking continues.