Wednesday, February 19, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Golden Knights acquire Martinez


From the LA Times

         The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired defenseman Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2020 and 2021.

         This trade will really hurt for Kings fans. Martinez is a defenseman who has played top-4 minutes consistently for the team, has only played for them in his 11 year career, and has scored double-digit goals twice in his career with solid defense. Plus, his overtime goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals won the Kings their second Stanley Cup. Now he is with a division rival, looking for his third Stanley Cup. Martinez played for both teams. The Kings traded both Tyler Toffoli and Kyle Clifford, who assisted on that goal, earlier this season. While Clifford and Toffoli were pending UFAs, Martinez still has a season left under contract after this year. His play has declined this year. He has played in just 41 games after playing in only 60 last year. He is on pace to finish with his lowest point total since 2012-13, when he played in just 27 games. He is now 32 years old as well. While Kings fans would have liked a first round pick in return, two seconds will do. The team had to use Martinez's non-expiring contract as leverage to get a better return than other rental defensemen that were traded such as Andy Greene, Brenden Dillon and Marco Scandella. Like those three, Martinez is left handed. That actually is not a good thing for Vegas. Their only right handed defenseman is Deryk Engelland, who is arguably their worst defenseman. They traded for Martinez because he can play on both sides. Getting Martinez will push either Engelland, Jon Merrill or Nick Holden out of the lineup. Those three are all pending free agents, so the team could trade one of them and keep a younger, less expensive guy like Zach Whitecloud or Jimmy Schuldt, both of whom were recalled after the trade, an unusual thing following an addition.

           Martinez, 32, has scored one goal with seven assists for eight points in 41 games this year. In his NHL career, all in L.A., Martinez has scored 62 goals with 136 assists for 198 points in 597 games.

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