The Golden Knights are expected to send back two second-round picks to their Pacific Division rival, McKenzie notes.
Martinez will be held out of Los Angeles’ game at the Winnipeg Jets tonight.
Martinez, 32, carries a cap hit of $4 million this season and next. The left-shot defenseman has been with the Kings his entire career since being drafted in the fourth round (No. 95) by Los Angeles in the 2007 NHL Draft.
In 11 seasons with the Kings, Martinez has 198 points (62 goals, 136 points) in 597 NHL games. Martinez’s shining moment was scoring the game-winning goal in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers, the Kings’ second championship in three seasons. He also scored the winning goal in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Kings have been active in the days leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline; Los Angeles traded leading goal scorer Tyler Toffoli to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. The Kings, who are last in the Western Conference with 47 points, traded forward Kyle Clifford and goalie Jack Campbell to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 6. Los Angeles received a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 third-round pick in the respective deals.
As for the Golden Knights, Vegas has five second-round picks between 2020 and 2021, so it’s not like the cupboard is bare. But Martinez is under term for at least next season, which is what Vegas was hoping to accomplish with whomever they traded for. It might be considered a stretch given Martinez makes $4 million at that age, but perhaps a change of scenery is needed for many of the Kings players that have already been shipped out.
Once finalized, figuring out where Martinez slots in the lineup is the next question. If the deal is Martinez for two seconds, Vegas would carry seven defensemen on the roster — Zach Whitecloud was reassigned to AHL Chicago on Tuesday with no idea if he’s back in the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Deryk Engelland has been a healthy scratch for six of the seven games Whitecloud was on the main roster.
Nick Holden has been paired with Shea Theodore, while Jon Merrill has been with Whitecloud. Holden was paired with Engelland in Thursday’s 6-5 overtime win against the Blues.
Martinez has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 41 games with the Kings this season, averaging 21:31 of ice time.