Preliminary talks have begun between the Kings and pending UFA blueliner Alec Martinez's agent, Alex Schall...
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.
We've talked about it before, but the next summer is going to be a nightmare for signing players. In addition to Martinez, the Kings have Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, and Robyn Regehr due to become unrestricted free agents. It was clear that they weren't going to have enough room to bring all four back; with upcoming RFAs Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson off to a scorching start, it's only going to be tougher to hold onto these UFAs.
Could this be an indication of where the Kings' priorities lie? Martinez had a breakout year in 2013-14, following up an 11-goal regular season with two of the most dramatic goals in Kings history. His possession numbers have ranged from good to outstanding, and even last year's downturn in those areas didn't hamper his effectiveness. Martinez isn't irreplaceable, but he'll be a fixture in the lineup as long as he's in a Kings' uniform.
So the fact that the Kings are already attempting to negotiate is a good sign. It's also par for the course for Dean Lombardi, who likes trying to figure these things out early. It's probably not a question of whether Martinez wants to come back; it's whether the Kings can offer him enough to keep him.