I don’t have a ton to go on at this point, but Alec Martinez has suffered a lower-body injury that will require him to go on injured reserve, and it has been confirmed that Paul LaDue is on the verge of a call-up to the club.
The understanding I have is that this is something that occurred during practice. Martinez skated with the club on both Tuesday and Wednesday, where he was frequently paired alongside Jake Muzzin, the defenseman he was again targeted to skate with at even strength and on the power play. Muzzin led all defensemen and tied for third in the league with eight preseason points (3-5=8), and there was significant optimism in the partnership, which was a major asset for the team in 2015-16.
“We asked Marty and Muzz if they thought they could be a good pair because last year at times they struggled as a pair,” John Stevens said at practice Wednesday. “They both said emphatically that yes they can, and I think they’re good friends and they talked a lot about it over the summer, and they want to have much, much better years than they had last year and be counted on.”
Prior to this injury, it had appeared that the Kings would emerge from the preseason unscathed. Martinez appeared in four preseason games, totaling four points (1-3=4) over an average 16:32 of ice time. LaDue notched one assist in three games, averaging 18:19 of ice time, and was essentially the first defenseman left off the 23-man roster. With his addition, the Kings will open the season with three rookies on the back end in LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid and Oscar Fantenberg, the latter of whom qualifies as a rookie by 22 calendar days.
Martinez played in all 82 games for the first time in his career in 2016-17, totaling nine goals and 39 points.
More to come from the Kings’ morning skate Thursday in advance of the 7:00 p.m season opener against Philadelphia at Staples Center (NBCSN / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio).
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