New York Islander Matt Martin supports Defending The Blue Line. During the 2011-2012 hockey season, Matt donated tickets to every Islanders home game to DTBL.
Matt Martin met with these Defending the Blue Line guests following the NY Islanders game on January 19, 2013. Matt is a huge supporter of DTBL.
This is the new logo to be put on shirts for troops & families who attend New York Islanders games courtesy of Matt Martin! Thank you Matt for being an awesome supporter:
From an article by Cory Twibell: "Martin, the team’s fifth-round draft pick in 2008, saw his profession as an opportunity to bring attention to veterans, many of whom don’t receive the spotlight as often as they should. “I wanted to do something charity-wise. Obviously I’m pretty fortunate in life and wanted to give back. These people sacrifice their lives for us and sacrifice their lives for our freedom, so this was a great fit. “People think of us as hockey players as tough, but you hear some of the things they’ve gone through and you appreciate so much what they do,” said Martin."
From an article by Rich Barrabi on Mar. 21, 2012 of FiOS1 Long Island: NY Islanders' Matt Martin Welcomes Children to Team's Home - Iceman With a Heart of Gold: "UNIONDALE - The New York Islanders players and staff are known for being very supportive of their community, so it was no surprise when winger Matt Martin announced he wanted to be part of a program dedicated to helping kids. Defending the Blue Line is a program created by soldiers with the spirit of keeping hockey alive. With the help of Islanders Community Relations Manager Ann Rina, Martin welcomed children of the military men and woman into the home of the Islanders." See the video...
Photos taken of Matt Martin with Marine E-5 Sergeant George Diaz and his wife Marisa Sberna - 2012:
From NHL.com on April 4, 2012
Matt Martin is presented the Bob Nystrom award by Nystrom. "It's a huge honor," Martin said.
The annual Islanders prize is given to the player “who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication.
“It’s a huge honor,” Martin said. “I pride myself on being a hard-working player. There are definitely a lot of guys in the room that could have won it, but I’m happy it was me.”
The 22-year-old winger beat out John Tavares by 20 votes to claim this year’s prize. Martin’s willingness to throw the body and go hard on every shift endeared him to teammates and fans alike.
“I think I’m a pretty physical player, so the fans like that,” he said. “I try to go out there and give it my all every shift and give my best effort.”
While he didn’t vote, Nystrom was happy to see Martin receive the award.
“I really wanted to see this kid win,” Nystrom said. “Because he’s just a hard-working, tough, real rough-nosed guy and I like that. The fans made a great choice here.”
Despite the surge in body checks this season, Martin is walking the right side of a fine line between disciplined, effective checker and penalty-taking liability. Last season he amassed 147 PIM in 68 games, down to 111 in 77 this year. Subtract 75 minutes due to fighting-related infractions (13 majors, one misconduct) and he’s only taken 18 minors this season.
In addition, the physical winger’s seven goals so far set a new, early career high in his second full season with the Islanders.
It’s a huge honor,” Martin said. “I pride myself on being a hard-working player. There are definitely a lot of guys in the room that could have won it, but I’m happy it was me.” - Matt Martin
Off the ice, the personable Martin joined Defending the Blue Line, a military non-profit group, and started a program to bring military veterans and their families to Islanders games. Veterans and families received recognition during every game of the year and enjoyed a personal meet-and-greet with Martin following each game. Win or lose, Martin was happy to give back to everyday heroes on Long Island.
“I get along with everyone and I love to get involved with the community and do things like that,” Martin said.
Charity work is a hallmark of Nystrom’s legacy on Long Island, making the comparison all the more fitting.
Matt Martin is a fan favorite for DTBL supporters in New York. Congratulations, Matt, on winning this award.