4-7-11 in 48 games
Most often seen: checking you
Contract status: signed through 2015-16, $600K salary in 2012-13 ($1M cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: destroying New Jersey's Tom Kostopoulos
Thoughts on 2012-13: This year, Matt Martin continued to do what he does and hit people. Martin racked up 234 hits to lead the NHL after setting a league record with 374 during the last full season. He also punched a few people, getting in seven fights which is actually right on pace with the 15 he had in 2011-12. Probably the most memorable fight was the one you see above, where he gets in a hell of a lick on Tom Kostopoulos.
The part that makes Martin a viable part of the lineup and not just another hired goon is two-fold; for one, he can skate a bit and has some offensive skill, and secondly, he's shown tremendous poise and the ability to use his head while playing physically, sort of an anti-Matt Cooke. For all the debate that surrounds fighters and tough guys in this game, Martin has managed to pretty much stay away from most of it. If you discount the four-game suspension he incurred for the insanity of the Pens/Islanders brawlfest in 2011, he's only been suspended once for a dirty hit -- two games in 2010.
While that's not a clean record, if he can manage to keep playing like he does and not get suspended as he did this year, he's an asset to the team. When you start crossing into Matt Cooke Territory, it becomes a sideshow, distraction and detriment. You have to believe Martin would never get near that.
This season Martin played on a very effective checking line with Casey Cizikas for most of the season, the two being paired with whomever else happened to be placed into the lineup that day. Some days Jesse Joensuu, some Marty Reasoner and other times it was Colin McDonald. Cizikas and Martin seem to be great for each other, and Martin upped his offensive game a bit with 11 points in 48 games compared to 14 in 80 a year ago. Last year Martin spent time on the third line, and was bumped down this year due to increased depth at foward, possibly helping his production by drawing different matchups from opponents than he would other wise.
The one drawback with Martin, as it seems to be with most tough guys, is that his defensive responsibilities leave a bit to be desired. He was only a -2 but his corsi relative was second worst on the team among forwards who played at least 10 games, and that was against so-so competition. Martin gets high marks for his ability to keep his cool, play his game and play an improved offensive game (he's being given the benefit of doubt that it wasn't a one-off uptick in his stats) but defensively there is room for improvement.
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.