Walleye trade Martin to Stockton

10/6/2013
BLADE STAFF
Joey Martin ranks third on the team’s all-time scoring list with 94 points. He scored 38 goals and added 56 assists in 123 games in the last two seasons.
Joey Martin ranks third on the team’s all-time scoring list with 94 points. He scored 38 goals and added 56 assists in 123 games in the last two seasons.

The Toledo Walleye have traded highly productive forward to the Stockton Thunder.

Martin ranks third on the team’s all-time scoring list with 94 points. He scored 38 goals and added 56 assists in 123 games in the last two seasons.

The Walleye acquired the rights to forward Eric Hunter in the trade. But Toledo then traded Hunter to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Russ Sinkewich.

Martin, who started his pro career in Toledo in 2011-12, had a breakout rookie year. He led the team in goals scored (22), assists (27), and points (49).

Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said Martin had expressed an interest this summer in being traded.

“He felt he needed a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery,” Vitucci said. “Sometimes a change is what a player needs.

“Joey was a quiet professional. He worked hard every day to get better and always had a smile on his face. When good people like that make a decision it doesn't come easily. We worked hard to find what he was looking for.”

Sinkewich split last season between Gwinnett of the ECHL and Portland of the American Hockey League. Sinkewich had five points in 11 games for Gwinnett and four points (all assists) in 21 games for Portland. Sinkewich, a 28-year-old who has played five seasons at the pro level, played at Bowling Green State University. He will start the season in the AHL with Lake Erie.

Toledo also traded defenseman Nathan Martine to Gwinnett. Martin, 25, appeared in 12 games in the AHL over the last two seasons with the Houston Aeros and Texas Stars. Martin turned pro in 2011-12 after playing four seasons in college at Nebraska-Omaha.

On his Twitter account Martin wrote: “Thank you for all your support. Great fans and lots of good memories. Truly a first class organization. Excited for a new opportunity.”

The Walleye's training camp officially opens today at the Huntington Center. Toledo plays its first preseason game Wednesday at Kalamazoo, then host the K-Wings for its only home preseason contest Saturday.

The Walleye open their fifth regular season Oct. 19 at Fort Wayne. Toledo's home opener is Saturday, Oct. 26 when it hosts Wheeling.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.