Image Credit: http://www1.nhl.com/islanders/
New York Islanders forward and member of the teams’ (in)famous fourth line, Matt Martin, has shown that he is a huge presence not only on the ice, but off as well. Martin has been recognized for something else besides his five season hit leading streak. It was announced on Tuesday that Martin has been named a finalist for the NHL Foundation Player Award. This honor is awarded annually to a player “who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of the people in the community.”
The Matt Martin Foundation was launched in September of 2015 and organizes many events and fundraisers in support of and to raise awareness for many causes such as The Islanders Children Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Downs Syndrome, and the care of widows and children of fallen members of the NYPD.
Starting in 2011, the 26 year old Forward began working with Defending the Blue Line, visiting with Military families during all home games in order to ensure “that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey.”
In addition to his many charitable events and donations, Martin has begun to show leadership in the form of community outreach. Martin spent time at schools across Long Island this year to teach children about Hockey and help them to develop skills. The Islanders moved to their new home in Brooklyn at the start of this season, and in December of 2015, he conducted a free hockey clinic for local children. This clinic afforded those children the chance to learn about the sport and hone their skills who otherwise may not have had the chance to do so. This free clinic led to the inception of a series of Hockey Camps that will give even more children the chance to learn the game.
Martin’s charitable efforts are exemplary of what the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award should be doing. His various events, fundraisers, and donations afford organizations to receive much needed exposure and benefits. Additionally, his work has allowed the game of hockey to be positively associated with these causes and for the game to be spread to new generations to those who may not be able to have access to game otherwise.
The NHL Foundation Player Award recipient will be named at this season’s NHL awards which will be held in Las Vegas this June. For more information or to support any of the organizations and causes mentioned in this article please visit The Martin Foundation website at http://mattmartinhockey.com/ or click the links throughout this article.