The Vegas Golden Knights have secured much needed experience to their blue line by re-signing former two-time Stanley Cup champion, Alec Martinez to a three-year contract valued at $15 million.
Multiple sources had Martinez ranked anywhere in the top-15 to top-20 available players this summer. Drafted 95th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007, Martinez spent 11 seasons with the Kings before being traded at the deadline to the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2019-20 season.
Martinez added leadership and playoff experience to the Golden Knights roster, as he helped lead Vegas to back-to-back Conference Finals appearances.
Coming off of his 12th season in the league, the veteran blueliner has played in 660 games while producing 238 points across 73 goals and 165 assists. His best season in terms of scoring happened during the 2016-17 season when he posted 39 points in 82 games played for the Kings — a 0.40 point-per-game pace — although he fared much better this year with the Golden Knights, scoring 0.60 points-per-game during the COVID-shortened season.
Fit With the Golden Knights
Martinez will likely remain as a bottom-pairing defenceman for the Golden Knights and will continue to provide leadership and experience to a team that has found itself in the Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons.
Averaging 22:24 of time on ice (TOI) since the trade to Vegas — and just shy of 20 minutes throughout his career — Martinez will play a big role on the back end for the Golden Knights. Known for his shot-blocking and physicality, he has racked up 1326 blocks and 914 hits since his NHL debut.
Martinez ranked second among defensemen on the Golden Knights last season in points, points-per-game, and TOI — all behind Shea Theodore — and led all Vegas blueliners in shooting percentage. The Rochester Hills, Michigan native — who celebrated his 34th birthday today with this signing — will add stability to the back end of the high-powered offense that the Golden Knights have become known for. Combined with his knack for scoring opportune goals, Vegas has added a key piece in its strive to make the Conference Finals for a third straight season.
Born and raised in Michigan, Kyle Knopp started playing hockey when he was 3 years old. Knopp has played, coached or worked at every level of ice hockey — including three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings where he was part of the Stanley Cup Championship team in 2008. He began covering the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Hockey Writers but will now be contributing for the Red Wings.