Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made their first signing of the offseason, inking Matt Martin to a four-year, $10 million contract.
Matt Martin to TOR. Four years. $2.5M AAV.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2016
I wrote about Martin a few days ago, suggesting that he might be a bit underrated by the analytics community. While he’s constantly a hit king, and hits tend to be something you don’t want a player doing that often, Martin also has significantly above the curve shot suppression numbers. Depending on who he plays with (please not Auston Matthews), he might be a cog in a useful forechecking shutdown line.
With that said, I’m not going to sugar coat this signing and justify it. Martin is a player that might be undervalued by his harshest critics, but his value is also overly inflated by his biggest fans. $2.5 million a year is less than I expected him to go for on the market, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he took less than other teams were offering, but he probably won’t contribute that much value to the team on an annual basis.
What’s worse is the term. Toronto was within reaching distance of having all non-core pieces off the books by the end of next year, which is a modern, efficient model. Martin breaks that, getting four years despite being 27 years old.
Needless to say, I’m a little hesitant, and you should be too.