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Matt Martin could be a target for the NY Rangers

There is a lot of smoke around the NY Rangers targeting Matt Martin in free agency. It’s funny how we can dismiss something that came up in September, but there are rumblings it might happen. The Rangers need some help on the bottom six and are also looking to be tougher to play against.

The soon to be former Islander certainly fits both of those needs, however how well he fits those needs is the bigger question. Martin, 31, is a fourth line guy, but has been a 12/13F for his last few seasons. His claim to fame is being an Islander, a fighter, and for that laughable contract the Leafs gave him in 2016.

The Production

Martin isn’t really going to help you offensively. He’s a fighter and a fourth liner. That’s expected. He’s actually surprisingly good in his own zone at limiting quality against. I have to admit, I was surprised to see that.

Per Evolving-Hockey, Martin is due anywhere from a 1-3 year contract. The dollars do vary:

  • 1 year – $787k
  • 2 years – $1.25 million
  • 3 years – $1.57 million

For a player like Martin, you really don’t want to go more than one year, especially when you’re in a cap crunch to begin with. That said, it is an expansion draft offseason. That means two year deals will be rampant.

The Fit

The big question is how Martin will be used. I’m not going to lose sleep if the Rangers sign Martin to be a 12/13F on a one year deal at under $1 million. That’s really nothing to get up in arms about. I’d even be understanding of two years, given the expansion draft. Although I’d like to see that two year deal come in under that $1.25 million projection.

The concern would be if the Rangers go three years for him. Spending big on the fourth line is not a recipe for success. Just look at the Islanders. They have way too much money committed to bottom six players, and now have major issues trying to keep Mat Barzal and Ryan Pulock.

Martin isn’t necessarily a player I’d target, especially since he hasn’t really been an 82 game player for three years now. But in terms of a 13F and an insurance policy, the Rangers could do worse than Matt Martin.

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  • The problem with this is that Cizekas and Clutterbuck will not be coming with him.

    Get a fighter/tough guy that can play. The Rangers just never learn with this. Maybe Lucic gets bought out and that would be a decent pick up for the Rangers.

    • Tony

      Good thought, at least he can pitch in occasionally, and is tough as nails. Slow as hell, but 4th liners usually don’t have afterburners on their skates!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I would rather just use Lemieux. He’s a more skilled, younger, faster player who will be cheap. I don’t see the point of signing Matt Martin.

    • I remember years ago on another blog, “not as intelligent as this blog”, that I wanted Lucic.. I was literally outcasted from the blog…..lol…….The Nash hit was the reason….Anyway, Lucic would be a better option, but would cost more…and the Rangers are penny pinching at the moment.

  • As much as I’d like a tough 4th line, I want players who can also play the game. I’m not really sold on Martin, and find it difficult rooting for him…..

  • In one way I can see it happening,just to screw the Islanders! On the other hand it won’t. Just not that good! Plus he will want too much money.

    They will probably take a run at Maroon. Maybe Simmonds?
    Other than that I don’t see anything out there to sign.

    Trades not sure who they can trade for?

  • I won’t be surprised if we sign him, but there are better options to fill out the bottom 6. Never mind that we are pretty deep on LW.

  • While he does fit the bill, only for a cheap one year deal. I am torn though. Can you afford to lose two offensive spots to guys like Lemeiux and Martin? I think we need tough forwards who have offensive skills. Unclear to me that Martin is skilled enough.

  • Martin makes sense at the right contract price and length. I doubt his playoff scoring touch is repeatable but it was noteworthy. As the playoffs indicated the Rangers need more toughness upfront than just Lemieux. Lemieux can skate and might have a little more offensive upside to his game, Martin – not so much. Would make Martin’s father-in-law extremely happy if it happens and may be a factor in Martin signing a team friendly contract with the Rangers.

  • Eh, I’d hope for someone who is tough, has more skill and is younger. These one or two year deals for less skilled tough guys just don’t seem to work out too well.

  • This would be very similar to Mike Rupp when he came here. Rupp was great in the room and kind of changed the complexion and attitude of the team almost instantly.

    A 1-2 year deal at the right money would not be a bad thing. Martin is loved by his teammates and fan base. And he certainly brings an attitude and a tough swagger with him. I think DQ would also love him, and he’d fit well in this system. If not Martin, this team needs some players who play that style.

    • Mike Rupp could put away the biscuit. I still remember the classic Jagr salute when he scored against the Flyers.

      I like players who play with intensity, but they need to be able to keep up with pace if the game. Martin is more of a boat anchor, there are better options out there for the Rangers.

  • On the Tony D. front, it seems from what Gorton reportedly said in Brooks
    column about Tony (or Fox or Lundqvist) playing on their off side might mean that they intend to keep all of the boys. If they can afford to do it, that would be fine by me. I hate trading highly skilled players unless you get someone with about the same level of skill in return. And Tony brings that Jersey boy attitude and grit too.

    My problem with Martin is I don’t think the guy is skilled enough to justify a roster spot. The Rangers have tried ‘character in the room’ one dimensional tough guys previously and it just has not panned out. I know it might be elusive, but getting someone with both grit and skills is the way to go if possible. I understand the need for character guys. I just want them to be more than characters!

      • Hey pal. U and I normally agree on most things Rangers. This one rare time I am not with you. Martin is sloooooooowwww. Isnt good at hockey and isnt even the fighter he once was. Lots of tread on those tires by now. Lemooo , ADA and Kreider can do that stuff well enough as can Smitty , Trouba and Lindgren. What we need is playable toughness. Guys that can skate up and down the ice and back check while chipping in with 10-15 goals. Tom Wilson type of player minus the head hunting is what I want. If not than do it as a group collectively. By the way, Laf can take care of himself too and is a big powerful kid.

  • Someone like Cedric Paquette who is younger , a center and only makes 1,650,000 so much more sense in trade. Next year’s draft stinks. Any pick in round 3 and four is a better thing than signing Martin. Paquette gets around 80 PIM a year. I doubt thats because he took 40 hooking penalties.

  • I already have mentioned both guys. Boyle is a great faceoff guy an big, an Martin gives you some punch an can play an protect guys. Then we need a solid dman left.

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