Matt Martin wins Bob Nystrom Award

Fans voted Martin as player who most exemplifies "leadership, hustle and dedication”

Sunday, 04.1.2012 / 6:35 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Matt Martin wins Bob Nystrom Award
Sacrificing his body for a record-setting 361 hits, Matt Martin won’t get any hardware from the National Hockey League. But Martin’s black and blue body, and all-out physical style of play has won over the hearts of Islanders fans, who voted Martin the winner of the 2012 Bob Nystrom Award.

The annual Islanders prize is given to the player “who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication.”

Matt Martin is presented the Bob Nystrom award by Nystrom. "It's a huge honor," Martin said.
“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.

The last two winners of the award, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, can both attest to how hard it is to repeat as an award winner. The only player to win in consecutive seasons was Claude LaPointe, who won the Nystrom a record three times (1997, 1999 & 2000).



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 76 34 40 -3 74
R. Strome 75 15 32 19 47
K. Okposo 54 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 75 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 76 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 70 23 16 12 39
J. Bailey 64 15 23 4 38
J. Boychuk 66 8 25 9 33
T. Hamonic 66 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 72 10 19 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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