Acknowledging "special" group, Martinez avoids contract talk - LA Kings Insider

In a Cross Checks Blog post on Thursday, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com wrote about several topics that are of particular interest to Kings fans.

In addition to explaining the delay on the Kings’ expected cap relief in the wake of Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension, LeBrun also provided an update on the parameters of contract negotiations between Alec Martinez and Los Angeles.

Via LeBrun:

Jake Muzzin recently signed a new deal that will pay him $4 million a season starting next year. The sense is the Kings would like to get Martinez below Muzzin’s $4 million AAV; the Martinez camp have comparables that suggest he’s worth $4 million or more — at least on the open market.

Martinez wants to sign an extension and remain with the Kings, no question about it, but the knowledge that he could score big on a weak July 1 UFA market is something that’s a reality, in case talks don’t progress.

Martinez politely declined to speak on behalf of the negotiations following today’s practice, saying “it’s the reason why you have an agent.”

“Let them take care of that stuff so I can worry about playing hockey. I don’t really think about it,” he said.

When asked whether the circumstances of playing for the Kings and living in the South Bay were ideal for a professional hockey player, he offered what amounted to be a strong affirmation.

“I think that the biggest thing is the group of guys. At the end of the day we’ve got a really good group of guys in here,” Martinez said. “Obviously L.A.’s the only thing that I know being drafted here, but talking to guys that have played in other places, they say that we’ve got something special here, and I’m a believer in that. There are probably not many teams [where] you get all the guys hanging out together at once. I think maybe the South Bay has a little bit of something to do with that and the fact that everyone’s just geographically really close to each other, just a bike ride away. But it’s also a testament to what management has done in bringing in good guys and good players and guys who get along. Obviously it’s a great group to be a part of.”

The Kings are walking a tight financial tightrope, given that Jarret Stoll, Justin Williams and Robyn Regehr are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, while Kyle Clifford, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff and Martin Jones will be bound for restricted free agency. Current Manchester Monarchs Nick Shore and Jordan Weal will also need new (and less expensive) contracts, and there is a good chance they would factor into the team’s future plans as well. They’ll have a very rough ballpark of $13-18 million dollars to spend on their free agents – the salary cap is tied to league revenues, which are rising and should exceed this year’s $69M cap by some margin – and given that Anze Kopitar is eligible to negotiate a new contract on July 1 that would begin in the 2016-17 season, the Kings’ prudence in such contract negotiations will surely be an asset.

Last year, the team chose to enhance its defensive depth by acquiring Brayden McNabb from Buffalo at the trading deadline. Given that Martinez is 27 years old and that there is a question whether there are players in Manchester capable of stepping into the 19:10 time on ice per game that Martinez has averaged thus far in 2014-15, his re-signing is among the team’s high contractual priorities this season.

Martinez has two points (1-1=2), a plus-six rating and a 54.2% Corsi-for rating in 11 games this season. Selected in the fourth round in 2007, he has 57 points (24-33=57) and a plus-29 rating in 214 career games.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO POSTS

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS