With free agency now mere minutes away, teams have begun to make their final push to keep their prized assets off the open market.
The Vegas Golden Knights did precisely that on Wednesday afternoon, keeping their defense corps intact by agreeing to terms with Alec Martinez on a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $5.3 million.
The details of the agreement, such as no-move clauses and salary structure, have yet to be determined.
Martinez has fit in splendidly on the Golden Knights blueline since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings at the 2020 trade deadline. The 34-year-old enjoyed somewhat of a career resurgence in 2021, putting up an impressive 9 goals and 32 points in 53 games for his highest offensive total since 2017-18. And with an extra $7 million in cap space to work with after dumping Marc-Andre Fleury to the Blackhawks yesterday, Kelly McCrimmon was able to throw a decent chunk of change at a player who has proven to fit the Golden Knights’ style of play.
However, this does not come without risk.
Martinez is dangerously close to the wrong end of 30 with some serious miles on his body thanks to a few extended Stanley Cup runs with the Kings and two straight trips to the third round in Vegas. Committing three years and over $5 million per to a player whose physical state could deteriorate at any moment is incredibly dicey. But the Golden Knights clearly don’t plan years in advance.
Their window is now. And the fact is, Vegas’ odds at a Stanley Cup are far better with Martinez than without.