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Vegas Likely To Move On From “Best Teammate, I’ve Ever Had”

From TNT broadcast

As the Golden Knights walked off the ice for the final time in the 2023-24 season, one of the last people to step off wearing gold was 36-year-old Alec Martinez.

The veteran defenseman heads into the offseason without a contract for next season which has spurred plenty of uncertainty not only for his future in Vegas but in the NHL.

Martinez has played 818 career regular season games and added another 131 playoff games. He’s won three Stanley Cups with two different franchises and has always been one of the most consistent, hard-working, determined defensemen in the league. Since 2013, Martinez has led the NHL in blocked shots, stepping in front of an asinine 1,644 shots, or 7.11 per 60 minutes.

He’s scored a couple of massive playoff overtime goals for the Los Angeles Kings and chipped in his fair share of offense in Vegas as well.

But if this truly is it for Martinez, those who played with him won’t remember his on-ice accolades nearly as much as they’ll remember who he was off it.

He’s had a phenomenal career, multiple Stanley Cups, been very successful but it’s the person that makes the player and coming to work with him everyday is a special thing. I don’t know what’s in store for him but there’s a lot of guys who enjoy his company and having him around. You’re not going to meet many people that are better than him. -Alex Pietrangelo

Having been around the locker room myself, and spoken to many players about Martinez over the years, just about every player who has played with him would likely echo this next quote from Pietrangelo.

He’s probably one of the best teammates, if not the best teammate, I’ve ever had. -Pietrangelo

For the Golden Knights, the roster is set up well to move forward without #23 as a part of it. The locker room, maybe not as much.

Because any locker room with Alec Martinez is better than one without him.

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39 Comments

  1. Richie-Rich

    In 2022-2023 Martinez played 77 of the 82 regular season games. That number dropped to 55 this year. While I believe he still can play a stay-at-home defense, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be with the Golden Knights next season.

    The only problem I have is that I viewed Pachal as his natural replacement, but he got cherry picked by Calgary off the waiver wire. The good news is that Vegas is still deep on defense.

    The only way I see Martinez staying is if he takes a crew cut and a clean shave, and we trade Whitecloud for picks. That contract would have to be 1-2 years at the most.

    I just don’t see it happening. He will be missed, but will always be a part of Vegas and that Stanley Cup Championship.

    • Rocky Vegas

      I think Korczak is ready to make the move up, and he’s certainly cap-friendly.
      Maybe Alex can retire and be an assistant coach to stick around the locker room ?

    • Emmanuel

      If Pachal doesnt become a Regular next year hell be out of the league in 2 years, hes running out of runway, a good run for a undrafted player though.

    • knights fan in minny

      martini is a warrior when he came to vegas h solidified the d -core

      • Shelly

        He will totally missed. He is a great defense man. Love to see him play. He will always be one of my favorites. No matter where he plays. He will always be in our hearts.

  2. Stan

    He will always be one of my favorite Knights! If we don’t resign him , I hope Yzerman picks him up. Detroit has a fairly young and good team and they could use his talent and locker room savvy. He grew up about 20 minutes from where the Wings play.

  3. ThG

    “the best there ever was”

    Coach should have set up Marty on PP, right on top of circle. Don’t know why coach didn’t do that, he could blast the shot.

  4. Willy

    I met him once in Philly. Super nice guy, spent time talking to my son.

  5. ThG

    Utah is off to a terrible start, look at these horrible names

    I would call them Utah “have you heard the good news”

    https://survey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0icZIBPBgCbymns

    • Tim

      Ehhh, golden Knights is pretty bad. 3 or 4 better ones than that on the list

  6. JB

    Marty will be missed. A warrior thru out. I hope he is ready to retire,then maybe stay with the club in some capacity?

    • JM

      Was at the Vegas-Buffalo game in Buffalo. Overheard a conversation with a relative of Martinez who said Martinez told family he was retiring after this season.

      • I think he only came back after the injury to finish up the year, then retire. Probably return to Michigan to cheer on the Lions

    • ThG

      yeah he was last one off the ice in Dallas game, and stood there a long time looking at the ice and the crowd, he’s a warrior

  7. ThG

    Jihad Joe is throwing Israel under the bus, pandering to his nazi jew hating voter base. Hey Joe, instead of warning Israel, how about telling HAMAS to surrender? They are trapped like rats in corner. A real leader would want to end this blood shed and the only sensible way out to to be a real leader and tell HAMAS to lay down their weapons and surrender. There days are numbered.

    • knights fan in minny

      veggie joe is a coward how about blunder biden saying inflation was 9 percent when he took over mush head is done

      • TS

        Better than ” Wandering Dick” Trump!!

        • The hockey God

          ^^^ TDS ALERT^^^^^
          trump
          dearrangement
          syndrome

          seek therapy, lots of it.

        • ThG

          yet you all voted twice for Esptein island slick Willie (that’s Bill Clinton) and once for sniffer, shower with daughter, creepy Joe

          hypocrites !

          • TS

            Only thing Biden sniffs is “TRUMP TROUBLE”!! And boy, does Trump’s shit stink!! Just ask Stormy and Karen!) Pee- yew, lol!!

          • TS

            Btw, I did NOT vote for EITHER Clinton
            ..but you keep doing your own thinking…truth or BS.

          • TS

            I am sooo not impressed with your ESP abilities!! You seem.to think you can read minds, but you clearly CAN’T. So stop trying to think for others, already! you know NOTHING!

        • knights fan in minny

          you angry dems heads are going to explode when the don is the next prez

          • Richie-Rich

            Unfortunately, the fire hose of election fraud evidence was buried and ignored in 2020. Today, the drip drip drip of continued supporting evidence, and whistleblower testimony fully supports the fact that Biden was installed through fraud. If you think they aren’t going to do it again this time around, you are mistaken.

            Just recently, in GA, they found 3000 ballots that were run back through and processed an additional 3 times. “Oh, we’re sorry about that.”

            Yes, I am an Election Denier. And even better, I know I am right.

    • Sally

      STFU. Go on dreaming you were Stormy.

    • Brenda

      stupid political comments in hockey post…

    • Not. A. Fascist.

      Brilliant political analysis. Your opinions must be wildly in demand…

  8. TS

    I just felt sadness at his ” last skate” postgame vs Stars. It looked like it and felt like his last game. I’m fairly new as a hockey fan, and I realize the game, the sport moves fast. But the crazy pace of all the trades, acquisitions, and losing players you like is damn hard. Small group of guys, close- knit group, we fans get to know these guys.
    But it’s a business, and making it a success is making $$$$, but it just stinks sometimes.

  9. Alex was the man you needed on defense in front of the team net. He has been a phenomenal defense player and will sorely be missed by his teammates and fans. Good luck sir

  10. ThG

    Jonathan Marchessault has lived in Vegas for seven years. In that time, he has become a proven Golden Knights goal scorer.

    Now, he’s hoping that the talent developed in Vegas can stay in Vegas.

    He is hoping the Golden Knights figure out how to re-sign him, even though their salary cap situation makes it challenging.

    According to Capfriendly.com, the Vegas Golden Knights have 20 players under contract and only have roughly $900,000 to spend for three more players. However, presumably Robin Lehner ($5 million salary) will be on Long-Term Injured Reserve again next season to push the Vegas available cap space to close to $6 million.

    The problem is Marchessault could receive offers of more than $6 million per season on the open market.

    Marchessault said he spoke with general manager Kelly McCrimmon and the Golden Knights want to bring him back. It’s difficult to see how that deal gets done unless McCrimmon is willing to move other key players to open up salary cap space.

    McCrimmon knows what it will take to get him signed, and also knows it will require a creative solution.

    “He had a career year, so he’s done everything possible to put himself in a good position,” McCrimmon said. “We really like the player, and his value extends beyond what you see on the ice. He’s an important guy in our dressing room, so there’s certainly a real strong willingness from both sides to have real good discussions.”

    It seems more likely that Marchessault leaves than stays. Finding more salary cap space could further erode the team’s depth. It would cause some pain, but it probably can be done if the Golden Knights are willing to endure some pain.

    Here are some examples of what could be done:

    SIGN MARCHESSAULT, SAY ‘GOODBYE’ TO CHANDLER STEPHENSON
    The Golden Knights need them both, but it probably makes more sense to keep Chandler Stephenson because he’s a center and three years younger than Marchessault. But Stephenson will also be a free agent. His projected cap hit projects to be about $1 million less than Marchessault’s. But if they let Stephenson go to free agency, they can probably make a deal to keep Marchessault.

    TRADE DEFENSEMAN SHEA THEODORE
    If you move Shea Theodore‘s $5.2 million salary, you probably have enough cap space, with some tinkering, to re-sign both Marchessault and Stephenson. You can try to justify this by telling yourself that Hanifin’s arrival will more than make up for Theodore’s loss. Also, trading Theodore could fetch a decent return. The team could certainly use some young prospects and draft picks. Another reason to consider it is Theodore will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer 2025. It’s going to be difficult to re-sign him as well.

    The problem with this is that you are moving one seven-year Golden Knights to save another seven-year Golden Knight. Are you making the team better? You can certainly make the case that Tomas Hertl will make up some of the lost Marchessault goals if he leaves.

    If you keep Theodore, with Hanifin now playing all season, the Vegas Golden Knights will certainly have one of the NHL’s most talented defensive corps.

    The other potential problem: Theodore has a modified no-trade, which will increase the degree of difficulty in moving him.

    GO WITH LOGAN THOMPSON IN NET
    That allows the Golden Knights to move Adin Hill. Several teams are looking for goalies . McCrimmon probably can move his $4.9 million salary rather easily. Again, the Golden Knights could bring in much-needed young assets.

    from vegas now site

    I don’t like the last option, I like option of trading no. 27; he was in terrible funk after he came back from IR and never got out of it. Maybe a long summer rest will fix that ? Who knows ?

    • Richie-Rich

      The Golden Knights can afford to let Stephenson walk. They are rock solid at Center at all 4 lines with Eichel, Hertl, Karlsson and Roy. There’s options for fill in as back up as well. I believe Howden is a Center/Winger. Several options in Henderson to fill in if necessary. Bye Stephenson…….

      As much as I do like Carrier on that 4th line, the difference between his offensive production and Cotter’s isn’t something that matters. Cotter is coming off of a typical sophomore year and still has upside. Carrier is another one who could be sent off in favor of keeping Marchy.

      Look, Marchy’s performance is great and has missed a mere 12 games in the past 246 games. He’s durable. The FO will find a way.

  11. JB

    Theo is not the player he used to be. Trade him, if it means keeping others together!

  12. LS

    I believe huge mistake getting Hertl. Past his prime-on the down.

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