You all know I love Alec Martinez. I don’t try to hide it, and when I write about him here it tends to get pretty homoerotic. I can’t help it. He’s American! He’s fun to watch! He’s Hispanic but not in a threatening to conservative white people way (aka, not actually Mexican). Plus, young A-Mart has gone on a fully fledged hero’s journey in his career already. He was an aspiring young defenseman, looking to
go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters even make it to the big time. There were plenty of new friends along the way with mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi Willie Mitchell, loveable scamp Han Solo Matt Greene, and the weird hairy creature with Chewbacca Jake Muzzin’s eyebrows. Alec Martinez helped destroy the Death Star win the Kings their first Stanley Cup in their history, yet that was only the beginning.
There were setbacks. Lots of them, really. Losing his spot in the roster to Muzzin and Robyn Regehr for a good chunk of two seasons was a major blow to his young career. Then he was forced to move to his offhand after
getting it cutoff moving to the right side. So what did he do? He wound up producing even more. Then, with defeat looking him dead in the eye, with everything on the line, he scored a series winning overtime goal. An encore? Why not? On an even bigger stage, he played the hero again.
So pay the man. Actually, the Kings did. 24 million dollars over the next 6 seasons to be exact. Hey wait a second. Four million a year? That sounds like a few other defensemen the Kings currently have under contract…
Muzzin got himself a nice big contract for four million a year recently too, and Slava Voynov was earning a shade over four million a year as well. Actually, he still is, but who knows what’s going on there. As for Voynov’s cap hit…At this point I don’t see him on the Kings all that much longer. He has a court date for the 15th of December, and there is a pretty good chance he serves time/gets deported/never plays in the NHL again. The Martinez contract covers the Kings’ bases and he can fit the spot Voynov used to fill before all that terrible stuff. Alec is a legitimate top four guy on pretty much any other NHL team in the league, and a top pair defender if you happen to be Edmonton, Buffalo, or Colorado.
Moving forward, a top four of Drew Doughty, Brayden McNabb, Muzzin, and Martinez is more than respectable. Additionally, the Voynov situation needs to be resolved before all of that is set in stone obviously. It’s pretty weird that the following day where they had Voynov practicing with the team, then get in trouble for that, they extend Martinez’s contract for a huge amount. Odd timing at the very least, and totally moronic on their part for the way they handled Voynov being there at all.
Tanner Pearson discovered how to score goals again, Anze Kopitar looked dominant once more, and the rest of the team did a whole lot of nuthin'. Jeff Carter has been quiet as hell lately, even though he was on the one decent line the Kings had going last game. I'd be all for trying Williams on the top line again, and maybe drop Carter with Richards and King. Richards has been throwing pucks at the net a lot more, and Carter has the speed and size to put away rebounds. Sutter will probably keep the same lines from last game anyways, so whatever.
Prediction: Kings lose 3-0. All three goals deflect of Martinez and into his own net.