Martin came into last season as the backup in Vancouver following a strong showing with their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford in 2021-22 plus an impressive six-game effort with the Canucks that saw him post a .950 SV%. However, the 28-year-old wasn’t able to come anywhere close to duplicating that success as he posted a 3.99 GAA along with a SV% of just .871 in 29 games with the Canucks before eventually clearing waivers in mid-February. He was much better on the farm, however, putting up a 2.43 GAA with a .916 SV% in 16 appearances down the stretch.
That gave Martin the presumptive edge to be Thatcher Demko’s backup again this season. However, those plans changed quickly when Vancouver acquired Casey DeSmith from Montreal earlier this month, a move that pushed Martin to the waiver wire. His removal from the roster should give prospect Nikita Tolopilo, a free agent signing back in March, a spot in Abbotsford’s tandem with Arturs Silovs.
Columbus had plenty of struggles of their own between the pipes last season with Elvis Merzlikins having a year to forget and youngster Daniil Tarasov taking a step back as well. Tarasov is currently dealing with a knee injury and has yet to take part in training camp, creating the opening for Martin to step into as Merzlikins’ backup for the time being. Martin is in the final season of a two-year contract worth the league minimum in both seasons, meaning his cap hit of $762.5K actually checks in below the $775K minimum salary.