The Toronto Maple Leafs will be serving youth once the year starts. However, thanks to the signing of Matt Martin and presence of Leo Komarov. They will dishing out bruising hits and making life hard for their opponents as well.
Entering the season, the focus is on all of the Maple Leafs young and skillful talent that will be infused into the team. However, there will be some added pest on the team that will definitely annoy opponents this season.
After six seasons with the New York Islanders, Martin inked a four-year deal worth $10 million with the Maple Leafs. The 27 year-old brings some more grit and sandpaper to what will be a young, yet skillful team. In his time in Long Island and Brooklyn, he led the league in hits the past five seasons.
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Martin was one-third of the “best fourth line” in hockey during his time with the Islanders. He will look to bring his physical and agitating style of hockey to the Maple Leafs. Furthermore, Martin can get under the skin of his opponents.
Which is why he will be a perfect compliment for an agitator that is already on the Maple Leafs in Komarov.
Also, He plays that same physical, get under their opponents skin style of game. Also, since his return from the KHL, Komarov has finished in the top 13 in hits over the last two seasons. Whether they play on the same line or not, opponents will feel it the next day after playing against them.
Both of these players will bring the sandpaper to a relatively young team. That blue collar work ethic that will undoubtedly rub off on some of the younger players. In addition, it would not surprise me if these two are the heart and soul of the team as the season goes along.
Martin and Komarov can chip in on offense, nonetheless, most of the time they will help with their agitating. If they can give the team extra power plays by getting under the skin of their opponents and drawing penalties, then they have done their part.
As pest, it’s their job to throw off their opponent and stir things up, which both are good at. Komarov has been able to get guys like Drew Doughty off their game for a penalty. While Martin can chirp his way under his opponents skin.
Safe to say, opponents will need to have some thick season when they play the Maple Leafs when they have these two in the line up.
However, both Komarov and Martin will be among the veterans that protect some of the rookies. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean fighting the opponents, but Martin is not afraid to drop the gloves. The pair can set the tone for every game, that taking liberties on the rookies will have its consequences
Fans should be excited to see the young kids that will be on the team, but keep an eye on Martin and Komarov. They will undoubtedly cause a few scrums and be in the top five in hits.