With Jack Eichel on the verge of returning, the Vegas Golden Knights are going to need to free up some cap space. According to Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now, this could result in them trading away defenseman Alec Martinez. 

The Golden Knights recently committed themselves to defenseman Brayden McNabb, as they signed him to a three-year extension that carries a cap hit of $2.85 million. He was viewed as a potential player they could have moved, but now that of course will not come to fruition. Krepps also noted that other defensemen like Zach Whitecloud (also recently extended), Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore won’t be traded, either. With that, Ben Hutton and Nic Hague make less money than Martinez, too, so it would be easier to keep them.

Martinez was just signed to a three-year, $15.75 million contract with the Golden Knights last offseason. Since then, he has been limited to just 11 games, as he is currently sidelined with a facial laceration. He is expected to return shortly, however, so Vegas will not be able to keep him on LTIR. Krepps also put up an argument that the Golden Knights have been successful without Martinez in the lineup – as their 27-16-3 record shows.

Whether it’s Martinez or another player, the Golden Knights are going to need to free up a good chunk of cap space to fit Eichel on their roster. Other potential players we could see moved are Reilly Smith, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mattias Janmark. 

Photo Credit: © Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

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