The Los Angeles Kings will be a team to watch at the 2020 trade deadline once again, as they continue to try and find a way to turn things around. The team sits just a point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks for last in the Western Conference, with little to celebrate on a nightly basis. Last year at this time the Kings decided to move on from defenseman Jake Muzzin despite having him under contract for an additional season, and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic now writes that they could make a similar move this time around.
Alec Martinez is the lead subject of LeBrun’s latest column (subscription required), as the scribe indicates that the Kings would be open to moving the defenseman. Martinez is signed through the 2020-21 season and carries a $4M cap hit, but the Kings are obviously not going to be competing for the Stanley Cup this year and could cash out early. One of LeBrun’s sources indicated it might take a “second and a prospect” to get the 32-year-old.
Martinez has been a solid contributor for the Kings for more than a decade now, debuting in 2009 before joining the lineup on a full-time basis the following year. His most noteworthy moment with the team is obviously the 2014 Stanley Cup-winning goal against the New York Rangers, when he jumped into the rush and cleaned up a rebound in double overtime.
That ability to play at both ends of the rink should be intriguing to many teams looking to shore up their blueline before the playoffs, as is his ability to play either defensive position. Martinez is a left-handed shot but was forced to play the right side quite a bit during his time with the Kings, at times beside the aforementioned Muzzin.
For Kings fans, it is important to remember that among the current roster defensemen, only Martinez, Drew Doughty and Matt Roy are actually signed for next year. If they decide to move in a different direction, youngsters like Tobias Bjornfot and Kale Clague may be asked to play substantial roles on the team next year.