During last night’s game against the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez suffered a laceration on his right wrist and was taken to hospital. He underwent surgery to repair a radial artery and two superficial radial nerves. The team has not announced a timeline for his return, but Martinez will be evaluated weekly and is expected to make a full recovery.
The defenseman was diving to knock away a loose puck in his own end when the skate of a falling Melker Karlsson connected with his wrist.
Martinez, 32, was widely considered one of the Kings’ best trade chips this season as he approaches unrestricted free agency. Signed through the end of the 2020-21 season and carrying a cap hit of $4MM, he could be considered a a real target for teams looking to upgrade their defense at the deadline.
Now with him on the sideline, the Kings may be forced to keep him through the end of the season if the injury affects his trade value. While he is certainly a welcome piece to the group if they have any ideas of contending for a playoff spot, this is obviously a rebuild from the Los Angeles organization. By the time they are really pushing for that postseason spot again, Martinez will likely be in his decline phase and not as valuable.