Alec Martinez is wrapping up his first ‘full’ season with Vegas and the pending unrestricted free agent told reporters, including David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that he’s hoping this won’t be his last season with the Golden Knights. However, his agent Alec Schall told Schoen that no offers have been received from the team just yet. The 33-year-old has been an integral part of their back end this season, logging over 22 minutes a game while chipping in with 27 points in 47 games, the best point per game average of his career. He’s certainly in line to land a raise on his current $4MM AAV which could make it tough for the Golden Knights to re-sign him as they only have about $6MM in cap room for next year, per CapFriendly, with several players needing to be signed to fill out the roster. GM Kelly McCrimmon declined to comment other than saying talks will happen “when appropriate”.
More from the West:
- The Kings have been in discussions with unsigned prospect David Hrenak, reports John Hoven in a piece for LA Kings Insider. The 22-year-old goalie wrapped up his college career with St. Cloud State this season, posting a 2.66 GAA with a .904 SV% in 27 starts and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in mid-August if he doesn’t sign. Los Angeles Director of Player Personnel Nelson Emerson noted that they have two other youngsters in need of playing time (Matt Villalta and Jacob Ingham); with only two minor league affiliates, finding ample time for all three youngsters to play if Hrenak could be tricky.
- Still with the Kings, center Blake Lizotte is unlikely to play this weekend due to an upper-body injury, notes Zach Dooley of LA Kings Insider. His second full NHL season has been a struggle as the 23-year-old has managed just three goals and seven assists in 41 games which is hardly an ideal stat line for someone that is in need of a new contract for next season.
- It could be a trying offseason for the Sharks when it comes to freeing up salary cap space, suggests Kevin Kurz of The Athletic (subscription link). High-priced veterans that have underachieved like Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Martin Jones will be tough to deal but some of their younger higher-paid players like Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc are in the midst of down seasons as well. They have over $69MM in commitments for next season already, per CapFriendly, and by the time they round out the roster, that won’t leave them with much flexibility unless they can clear out a contract.
- Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko missed tonight’s game against Minnesota due to a lower-body injury, the team announced (Twitter link). It has been a tough season for the veteran who, after coming back from shoulder surgery, has only managed four goals in 23 games although he has chipped in 10 assists.