LOS ANGELES -- Just days away from next Monday's trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings appear to be closing in on their second major trade this week.
The team is reportedly finalizing a trade of Alec Martinez to the Vegas Golden Knights. The 32-year-old defenseman was not to play in Tuesday's game at the Winnipeg Jets for "precautionary reasons," the Kings announced. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, who broke the news Tuesday afternoon, the Golden Knights are expected to send two second-round picks to the Kings in return.
Martinez, who has spent all 11 seasons of his NHL career with the Kings, has been involved in trade rumors for weeks. The veteran, originally a fourth-round draft pick of the Kings in 2007, has only eight points (one goal, seven assists) and a minus-nine rating this season. His contract, however, which is worth $4 million in annual average value and doesn't expire until the end of next season, made him one of the few desirable nonrental players on the league's trade market.
If the deal, which reportedly isn't expected to be completed until the Kings return to Los Angeles on Wednesday, goes through, it would make Martinez the latest long-tenured veteran to be dealt away by the rebuilding franchise.
Earlier this month, Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford were traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Trevor Moore and two third-round draft picks (including a conditional third-rounder in 2021 with the potential to become a second-rounder). On Monday night, Tyler Toffoli was sent to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Tim Schaller, prospect Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 fourth-rounder.
The potential Martinez deal would follow the same pattern, swapping one of the club's Stanley Cup-winning stalwarts for future assets.
"We set that direction out last year around Christmas," general manager Rob Blake said during a conference call Monday night, less than a day before reports surfaced detailing his latest move.
"We've got work to (do) here," the third-year GM added Monday, confirming that the Kings were involved in other trade discussions.
Like those traded before him, Martinez's departure further marks the end of an era. The Michigan native played a key role in the Kings' title teams in 2012 and 2014. In the latter season, he scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, tapping home a rebound in double-overtime at Staples Center that has gone down as one of the most memorable moments in franchise history.
Martinez's two best individual seasons were arguably 2015-16 (31 points) and 2016-17 (career high 39 points), the only two times he has eclipsed the 30-point mark in his career. His production has dropped year-over-year in the three seasons since. This year, he missed games after sustaining lacerations to his radial artery and two superficial radial nerves in his right wrist caused by an opponent's skate.
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