Alec Martinez
Alec Martinez is set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason and the Golden Knights have no choice but to retain him at all costs. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Golden Knights Need To Retain Alec Martinez At All Costs

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have an important offseason ahead with no cap space and a handful of free agents set to hit the open market. There is no margin for error after a disappointing exit in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is imperative that the Knights retain Alec Martinez at all costs.

From a basic cap management perspective, you let Martinez walk and plug Nick Hague into the rotation. It’s not that simple. Martinez may not have a big name, but he’s one of the biggest glue guys on this Knights team. The former University of Miami of Ohio product is a two time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings for a reason. Letting Martinez walk out the door would be a disastrous mistake for Vegas.

Martinez, 33, is no spring chicken but can still absolutely play. Even if it’s something you play year by year, there is no reason to let number 23 go. Martinez played the entire postseason with a broken foot. Never said a word about it.

Even on a broken foot, the Knights defenseman recorded 32 points in 53 regular-season games, scoring at a career-best 0.60 points per game. Martinez was a WARRIOR all year. He led the NHL with 72 blocked shots which was 20 more than teammate Alex Pietrangelo who gets most of the recognition.

Speaking of Pietrangelo, Martinez is his partner on the ice at the first line defense. Could you just throw someone like Hague in there? Part of what makes the Knights elite in the first place is their defense. Vegas allowed the fewest goals in the NHL for a reason. A lot of it has to do with the guys in front of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner.

Vegas has about $3 million in cap space this offseason. It should go to retaining Alec Martinez. This is the unsung hero of the Golden Knights. You don’t just replace this dude. It’s the kind of piece that walks, and you’re stuck wondering why your team has taken a step back. Find a way to make this offense more explosive. Don’t mess with how elite the defense unit is.