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Matt Martin is going back to the Island

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The Toronto Maple Leafs trade their enforcer, and bring in a goalie for the Growlers

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Matt Martin (15) hits New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. 
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Matt Martin era in Toronto is over, as the veteran left-winger has been sent back to the New York Islanders. Martin goes back to the only other team he’s ever known in exchange for 23-year-old goaltender Eamon McAdam.

In the trade, the Leafs get out from under Martin’s $2.5 million cap hit for not only this season, but more importantly next season when space will become much more scarce. In addition to the cap space, the Leafs receive a goalie. McAdam has played 36 games for the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers in his three years of professional hockey. The Perkasie, Pennsylvania native will most likely be a key part of the Maple Leafs’ new ECHL affiliate Newfoundland Growlers.

McAdam is a third-round pick of the Islanders in 2013, and he is currently on the final year of his NHL entry-level contract paying him $925,000 in the NHL, and $70,000 in the AHL. McAdam does not require waivers to be sent to the AHL or ECHL. With the trade being one-for-one, the Leafs remain at 42 out of a possible 50 contracts allowed in a season.

This trade comes on the day the Leafs, Toronto Marlies, and Growlers announced contracts for seven players on AHL/ECHL deals. The Growlers are an expansion team, so there are currently a lot of holes to fill on that roster. The Leafs organization does not currently have any goalies on AHL contracts to send to St. John’s, so although McAdam is on the last year of his ELC, he is a minor-league acquisition.

Martin was a controversial figure among Leafs fans. His off-ice contributions to the young players was evident, but so was his lack of effectiveness on the ice or his value in the playoffs. The contract that brought Martin to the Leafs wasn’t popular at the time, but in the end, he cost two years of cap space and returned a player to fill an empty roster spot.

The deal leaves the Leafs with approximately $16 million in cap space for this season with six players to add to that amount, including William Nylander.