Matt Martin Signs Four Year Deal As CBA Expires

It's official. The NHL has officially locked out its players for the 2012-2013 season until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon between the owners and the NHLPA. Despite the players openly stating they were willing to continue negotiations under the current agreement to avoid a work stoppage, Commissioner Gary Bettman refused the idea, having been long prepared to lockout his players heading into last night's deadline. (Photo Credit: clydeorama/Flickr)

Many fans already plan on boycotting merchandise until a solution is found since there is no telling of how long this lockout will last. There is hope that a season can still start on time, but both sides are still far apart on resolving the matter, indicating that there might not be hockey in October after all.

The only good news for Islanders fans is that GM Garth Snow locked up one of his core members for the next four years. Matt Martin signed a new contract with the Isles just before the past CBA expired.

Per the Isles official press release:

UNIONDALE, NY (September 15, 2012) – The New York Islanders officially announced today that Matt Martin has agreed to terms on a four-year contract.

Martin, 23, completed his first full season with the Islanders last year, setting a career best in goals with seven, to go along with his seven assists for 14 points in 80 games. He also set the NHL single season record for hits with 374.

A fifth round selection (148th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft, Martin has played in a total of 153 NHL games, totaling 30 points (12 goals and 18 assists) and accumulating 294 penalty minutes.

Many may not remember, but Martin hit a road bump when trying to sign his first contract with the Isles. He and his agent felt that he would be able to contribute at an NHL level quicker than others expected, despite being a fifth round pick. The Islanders ended up giving him a shot, and it didn't take long for the big hitting machine to become a fan-favorite on the Island.

His Junior numbers also indicate that there is room for him to still grow as a player. He put up 65 points with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL just before joining the Bridgeport Sound Tigers the following year, where he put up 31 points and got his first taste of NHL action as well.

Although he might not be a scoring machine, Martin's role is an important one. He is quick to defend his teammates whenever it is needed and hits anyone and anything that gets in his path. Locking up Martin for the next four years was a crucial signing for the Islanders organization.

Let's just hope it actually is a four year deal instead of three.

-Rob McGowan

F

The Checking Line - Isles Edition | Promote Your Page Too