While it’s fair for a general manager and organization to have loyalty to a player, this is not a good contract for the Islanders. Sure, you could argue $1.5 million really isn’t all that much money against an $81.5 million cap. But if the plan was to re-sign Martin all along, that Ross Johnston extension doesn't make much sense. The Islanders are continuing to throw money into the bottom of their lineup, without addressing greater needs first.
Plus, we can bet the extra money that was tacked onto Martin’s contract could have been used to extend Mathew Barzal and resolve the contract situation. Or if the Islanders think they’ll have a deal for Barzal in place for the start of the season, why wouldn’t they capitalize on the market to sign a forward who can help out their top-nine?
The term is another thing. In this market, even productive players who are still relatively young are getting one-year deals at a low price. It’s highly unlikely any other team was willing to give out that much money and term to sign Martin, so to give him another four-year deal right now is unnecessary.
The strangest part about this is that it’s been reported that the Islanders are actively trying to clear cap space and move Thomas Hickey or Leo Komarov, with an asset attached. Say they clear that space by giving up an asset to get rid of Hickey’s contract - more than half that money is now being allocated to a 31-year-old fourth-line forward, when the Islanders already have another younger fourth-line forward signed for above market value on a multi-year deal.
If the Islanders were intent on bringing Martin back, it should have been done on a cheaper, shorter contract, especially given the market right now.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussions will be posted in a future article):
Do you think this is a good contract for the Islanders?