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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knight’s Alec Martinez Finishes Season With Huge Battle Scar

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Welcome back to Vegas Hockey Now’s season in review series where we look at every player on the Vegas Golden Knights and their 2021-22 season from Michael Amadio to Zach Whitecloud.

You can catch up on the series here: Michael AmadioReilly SmithJonas RondbjergKeegan KolesarRobin LehnerAlex Pietrangelo, Nolan PatrickShea TheodoreJake LeschyshynMark StoneMax PaciorettyLaurent BrossoitMattias JanmarkWilliam CarrierJack EichelNicolas RoyChandler Stephenson, Jonathan MarchessaultBen HuttonDylan Coghlan, Nicolas Hague, Zach Whitecloud, and Brett Howden.

Today’s player is Alec Martinez.

ALEC MARTINEZ

Alec Martinez Vegas Golden Knights official 2021-22 headshot

Stats: 26 GP 3-5-8 PTS
Contract: 2 years left at $5.25 million (M-NTC)
Games Missed: 56
Status: Healthy
VHN’s Grade: D

Overall Thoughts

Alec Martinez’s 2021-22 season story is a scary reminder of just how dangerous the sport of hockey can be. I understand why athletes have certain preferences on equipment. It’s all about gaining an advantage over the competition, etc. And I am also aware that my hockey playing skills are equivalent to a walrus on skates. But it still baffles me why NHL’ers don’t wear certain protective equipment such as full-bubble face shields, neck guards, and also how it took 42 years for goalies in the NHL to start wearing masks.

Were talking about this because of Alec Martinez, and the unfortunate injury that he faced this past season. In a November 11th game against the Minnesota Wild, Martinez checked Brandon Duhaime into the boards, and as Duhaime fell, his skate blade sliced Martinez’s face.

According to former head coach Peter DeBoer Martinez required over 50 stitches. He missed the next 53 games with a facial laceration and earned a scar that Golden Knight’s owner Bill Foley called “worse than Beth’s from Yellowstone.”

Thankfully, he was able to return to play in late March against the Chicago Blackhawks. The absence of Martinez’s presence on the Golden Knight’s blue line was a big reason why they struggled in 2021-22 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Highlights

In the games Martinez was able to play, he scored three goals, five, assists, and eight points.

He didn’t come back and set the league on fire, but his presence back on the blue line greatly improved the team’s defense after he was finally able to return in late March.

 

What’s Next?

So many players on the Golden Knights need to hit the refresh button after a chaotic and injury-ridden 2021-22 season. Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner, and Reily Smith all fall into this category. But no player needs a fresh start more than Martinez.

Hopefully, he can return to being one of the most reliable two-way defensemen in the entire National Hockey League next season. At 34 years of age, Martinez is on the older side of things. But his experience in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is like no other as he will always have this goal on his resume.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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Kevin S

The curse of my daughter! In February, 2012, my 10 year old daughter and I were on vacation from So Cal went to the Islanders/Kings game on Long Island, and sat 2 rows from the glass. A few minutes into the game, Alec Martinez shot a puck out of play that hit my daughter right in the head. After an ambulance ride, 5 staples in the head, and a $2500 medical bill later, she was fine. A year later Martinez was playing in Finland during the lockout, took a puck to the face, and broke a cheekbone, requiring surgery. Then this. Hopefully that’s the end of it!

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