On October 15, Jake Muzzin signed a 5-year, $20 million deal, making the Los Angeles Kings' first contract priority clear. It only took two weeks for the Kings' next re-signing target to emerge, and today, the deal is done.
As first reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie on Twitter, Alec Martinez has re-signed with the Kings for six years at $4 million per year. It follows the Kings' pattern when it comes to re-signing young blueliners, and it's the exact same price that LA paid for Muzzin. I'm gonna go ahead and assume that extra season is a two-biggest-goals-in-Kings-history bonus.
Martinez was a periodic healthy scratch in his first couple seasons, despite terrific possession numbers and a decent offensive upside. Though those possession numbers dipped to a more average level last season, he broke out on a national level thanks to his eleven regular season goals and his playoff excellence. (Our evaluation of Martinez's 2013-14 is right here.) This season has been more of a struggle, as Martinez has battled injuries and tougher competition. He's played with Robyn Regehr most often, though he's had even more of an uphill battle with normal partner Matt Greene. Even so, Martinez has seven points in 18 games this season, and the Kings missed him quite a bit for the past few weeks.
If Martinez can recapture his form from earlier seasons, they'll be very happy with this deal. Even with the slumps, though, Martinez is undoubtedly a key member of the Kings' top six. The Kings likely won't find a better defenseman on the open market without paying handsomely. It's a great contract for Martinez, but for the Kings, it's probably the best they could've done from a "keep as many guys as we can" standpoint.
After all, wouldn't you pay $4 million a year for a living legend?