Throughout the next month plus, we’ll be reviewing the season that was and over-analyzing the various players that contributed to it. That’s what the offseason is for, after all. This is the fourth in the series. Read them all here.
Radek Martinek — D — #4
3-0-3 in 13 games
Most often seen: as a seventh defenseman
Contract status: UFA this summer, $600k salary in 2012-13 ($750k cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: scoring the eventual game winner against Montreal on March 5th
Thoughts on 2012-13: Before the Islanders claimed Thomas Hickey, Brian Strait and Joe Finley off waivers — clearly concerned about the team’s defensive depth — they signed ex-Isle Radek Martinek to a one-year deal during training camp. It was a shrewd move from a GM full of them, and Martinek chipped in three goals in 13 games. But it was clear that other, younger players out-played Martinek for his spot on the depth chart from the get go.
Martinek spent most of the season off the ice, not seeing the ice for game action until February 24th and only playing six of the team’s final 19 games, playoffs included.
Credit has to be given to Martinek, who returned to the game after suffering two bad concussions in 2011, which caused him to miss the majority of the 2011-12 season. But, unfortunately, the fact is that at 36-years old Martinek is no longer the defender he once was. He was a liability in his own zone, with a team-low corsi to boot, and spent the majority of the season in the press box, which is a pretty clear indiction of his spot on the depth chart.
Martinek is a UFA and likely won’t be back. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his whole body of work and the 10 seasons that he spent on the Island. He usually was an effective defender, when healthy. The health issues will forever define him, as he managed to play more than 50 games in five seasons and more than 70 only once. His first year on the Island was 2001-12, so he’s played alongside a lot of different Islanders and incarnations of the team. It’s could be the end of the road for Martinek, a guy who’s been through a lot and worked hard for the team for a long time.
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.