With Lou Lamoriello now General Manager of the New York Islanders, could Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin return to the team he started his career with?
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the 2008 NHL draft, and was a mainstay in the team as a hard-hitting forward on the fourth line.
But he opted to join the Leafs, the team he supported as a boy, in free agency in 2016 on a four-year, $10 million deal.
But Martin’s role with the team has declined rapidly, playing in just 50 regular season games this past season – being effectively a healthy scratch since January.
The original deal to bring him to Toronto was negotiated by Lou Lamoriello, who was the team’s General Manager at the time.
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But now that Loophole Lou has jetted off to the Islanders, begun to clean house and impose his will upon the time, could it be reasonable to expect Martin to reunite with him on a team still very close to his heart?
Martin’s deal with the Leafs was quite a head-scratcher for many fans when he first signed it, with his sizeable cap hit something that would look less and less appealing as the seasons wore on.
With the need for a big hitter becoming less and less necessary in the modern game, Martin offers very little else for a young, talented attacking team such as the Leafs.
He has 21 total points across the 132 games he’s played for the team and has seen his position taken by other talented wingers, with Andreas Johnsson expected to lay claim to one of the bottom two left-winger roles next season.
For Lamoriello, he would get a player that he liked enough to bring to Toronto in the first place – a guy who has worked under his influence and abided by his rules to the letter, putting his body on the line to protect the team’s young stars.
Martin was a popular figure while he was at the Islanders and it was a difficult decision for him to leave in the first place.
Should Lamoriello come calling, it would make plenty of sense for the Leafs to listen to what he offers for Martin – with his place in Mike Babcock’s team looking less and less likely.
What do you think Toronto Maple Leafs fans? Should the Buds allow Martin to go back to the Islanders if Lamoriello calls? Or should they keep hold of him for the remaining two years of his deal?