Golden Knights may be shopping a top-4 defenseman, according to a report
BY MIKE ARMENTI AUGUST 7, 2023 (11:46)
A year or two back, former Golden Knight, Max Pacioretty made waves when he revealed that many players and agents that he knows are hesitant to do business with Vegas without an NTC or NMC, because nobody really feels as though their job is safe there. Vegas has created this culture of constant change and players who want to sign long-term extensions often exclude Vegas from their plans, especially if they're looking to plant roots somewhere, as they don't want to be shipped off and to have to uproot their families shortly after signing or accepting a trade there.
In a flat salary cap world, it has become common practice not to get too attached to players, especially those with high cap hits. With this being the case, the Golden Knights are now rumoured to be considering moving another significant piece this summer to create some cap space. According to The Athletic's Jesse Granger, Alec Martinez could be on the move this summer. He has a cap hit just north of $5M and only has one year remaining on his current deal.
Martinez, 36, hasn't been able to stay healthy in recent years, though his 77 games played last season was the most he has played in a season since the 2017-2018 season when he was with the Los Angeles Kings.
Martinez can still provide a team with sold top four minutes when he's healthy. He averaged 19:13 in ice time last season, scoring 3 goals and racking up 14 points last season in Vegas, primarily in a shutdown role. He blocks a ton of shots and will play the body when he needs to as well.
Vegas is currently over the cap by a little more than $4M, but if it is deemed that Lehner is unfit to play this season, then his $5M cap hit can be placed on long-term injured reserve and they'll have the ability to keep Martinez if they'd prefer to do that. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see them move Martinez anyhow, if they believe they can improve. Moving the veteran blueliner opens up a lot of cap space and we know how Vegas believes in weaponizing their cap space whenever possible.
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