Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy said today that defenseman Alec Martinez missed today’s training camp sessions with an “upper-body tweak”, but he’s expected to return to practice tomorrow.
And while things like maintenance days usually aren’t big news, they are now for the Golden Knights, who will rely heavily on full health in 2022-23 after an injury-plagued 2021-22 season. Martinez himself missed a solid chunk of time last year, playing just 26 games and registering only eight points. A crucial part of their top four on defense, they’ll need Martinez at his best, especially if Nicolas Hague goes unsigned into the season.
With Vegas pressed tightly against the salary cap, even with Robin Lehner placed on long-term injured reserve, short-term injuries could become a cap management nuisance quite quickly. As they did last season, they’ll need to play a day-to-day game financially and have their players in AHL Henderson on speed dial.
As Hague remains unsigned, the team is especially thin on left defense. If Martinez gets hurt, the team’s next option to slot into the lineup is 23-year-old Zack Hayes, an undrafted free agent with only three games of NHL experience.
Golden Knights fans will be watching injury news like hawks as the preseason progresses. The team will begin their preseason schedule tomorrow against the Colorado Avalanche.