Maple Leafs sign Matt Martin to 4-Year Deal

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made their first signing of the offseason, inking Matt Martin to a four-year, $10 million contract.

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I wrote about Martin a few days ago, suggesting that he might be a bit underrated by the analytics community. While he’s constantly a hit king, and hits tend to be something you don’t want a player doing that often, Martin also has significantly above the curve shot suppression numbers. Depending on who he plays with (please not Auston Matthews), he might be a cog in a useful forechecking shutdown line.

With that said, I’m not going to sugar coat this signing and justify it. Martin is a player that might be undervalued by his harshest critics, but his value is also overly inflated by his biggest fans. $2.5 million a year is less than I expected him to go for on the market, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he took less than other teams were offering, but he probably won’t contribute that much value to the team on an annual basis.

What’s worse is the term. Toronto was within reaching distance of having all non-core pieces off the books by the end of next year, which is a modern, efficient model. Martin breaks that, getting four years despite being 27 years old.

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Needless to say, I’m a little hesitant, and you should be too.

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  • TGT23

    Jeff I think you should be aware of the fact that there appears to be a couple of trolls using a very close edition of some of our monikers. I would suggest that you make certain that the individuals are contacted by email, probably their mom’s email and tell them to cease and desist. Other wise you will have chaos in here.

    btw don’t forget the brothers will be celebrating when they beat Germany tomorrow.

    Happy July 1st. to you and the leaf nation crew.

  • Gary Empey

    I thought you must be on your fourth bottle of Italian red when you advocated signing Eriksson or Lucic. Then I thought naw, no way. That would explain the suggested signings, but how could he still type. Everyone knows that after 4 bottles of wine a fella only wants to have sex and a bit of shuteye.

    As for signig Matt Martin to a four-year, $10 million contract. If he plays like Leo Komarov I am onboard. Babcock seems to find those type of players very useful and gets the best out of them. Last year he had Leo playing first line, 2nd and 3nd line, power play. penalty kill and he really didn’t look out of place at all.

    As for the cost and term, I say calm down. Four years for a 27 year old player you want is a good deal. Players like Matt Martin actually become premium trade bait at the trade deadline. Most playoff bound teams will pay extra to get them.

    The only real argument against the signing is: if you feel Martin is not a good player. I stated yesterday, unless a player is top of the sports news the Leafs are the only team I follow closely. So until I see Matt Martin in a Maple Leaf sweater, I will take all your words for how good he is.

    And for the fisticuffs aspect. Surely everyone noticed Babcock doesn’t like his guys to drop the gloves. Not only is there a big risk of injury, he likes them to be fresh and ready to go next shift. Play hard yes. Fighting is exciting but there is no tangible benefit to the team.

    • TGT23

      Gary I might enjoy a glass of fine wine tomorrow if the lads beat the Germans. The more I read up on Martin, the more I see that the guy is a one man wrecking crew. I agree him and Uncle Leo would indeed be a tag team to reckon with.

      • Gary Empey

        Left Wing — shoots L

        Born May 8 1989 — Windsor, ONT

        [27 yrs. ago]

        Height 6.03 — Weight 220.

        Enjoy the game tomorrow. My team was knocked out by some volcanic island off the coast of Ireland. I think they misunderstood the meaning of Brexit.

        PS – Canada Day is not as big a deal here in the Philippines as one would hope.