The Maple Leafs added experience and sandpaper to their lineup on the first day of the NHL’s unrestricted free agency period Friday, signing veteran left winger Matt Martin to a four-year contract.
The 27-year-old Martin spent the first six years of his NHL career with the New York Islanders, who selected him 148th overall in the 2008 entry draft. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Windsor, Ont., amassed a personal-best 10 goals and 19 points in 80 games with the Isles last season, and has posted 42 goals and 88 points in 438 career regular-season NHL games.
Martin has led the NHL in hits in each of the past five years, and also has 680 career penalty minutes, including 119 of them in the 2015-16 campaign. He’s known for a robust physical game that forces his opponents to battle for every inch of ice they get, and his work ethic should quickly make him a favourite of both head coach Mike Babcock and Leafs fans.