UFA winger Matt Martin is working on a deal to remain with the Islanders, reports Arthur Staple of The Athletic (Twitter link). Staple adds that as many as seven teams expressed an interest in signing the free agent but that Martin wants to stay on the Island. While the Rangers had been speculated as a possible landing spot, Staple relays in a separate tweet that they are not among the teams that have shown interest.
The 31-year-old has had two separate stints with the Isles and has spent the last two seasons there after being re-acquired from Toronto back in 2018 in a cap-clearing move by Toronto. He has never been much of an offensive contributor (although he did manage five goals in 22 playoff games) but he has been among the top physical wingers in the league throughout his career and has been an important part of what has been an impactful fourth line for New York.
Despite that, it’s quite likely that Martin will be looking at a pay cut from the $2.5MM AAV he carried on his last contract. With many teams looking to save money and needing to do so with some of their depth players, his price tag should come in lower despite the considerable interest he has received. He is ranked 39th on our Top 50 UFA list with a projected two-year, $3.2MM contract.