Leafs make splash, sign hard-hitting Martin to four-year, $10M deal

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Toronto fired its first shot in free agency this afternoon, and it was a notable one — Matt Martin, the former Isles forward and a fairly coveted target, has inked a four-year, $10 million deal with the Leafs.

First reported by Sportsnet, the deal will carry a $2.5M average annual cap hit. Martin, 27, really upped his market value this past season by scoring 19 points — and a career-best 10 goals — while dishing out a NHL-leading 363 hits.

Martin is a physically imposing presence at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and was a fan favorite in Long Island and Brooklyn during his seven-year stint with the Isles.

An Ontario native, this move will represent a nice homecoming. Martin hasn’t played in the area since his days with OHL Sarnia, where he was a former teammate of Steve Stamkos and eventually served as team captain.