December 12, 2019
Alec Martinez, Los Angeles Kings veteran defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup champion in 2012 and 2014, sustained an injury to his right wrist in the third period of the Kings' 4-3 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Martinez dove toward a loose puck around the Kings' net and the skate of Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsonn lacerated his wrist, causing damage to his radial artery and two superficial radial nerves. He left the game immediately and subsequently underwent successful surgery at Keck Medicine of USC to repair the damage. The 32-year-old is expected to make a full recovery but no timetable has been put on his return to the team. Martinez will be evaluated weekly.
"We're real happy that things went well for Alec (in surgery)," Kings head coach Todd McLellan said. "Now he's got some time to heal. When he's ready to play again, we'll welcome him back."
Martinez sent a group text to the team before their Tuesday morning practice.
"It's a scary situation," McLellan said. "When you talk about a skate blade to any part of the body, but particularly a real dangerous area. It can zap certain individuals more than others. It can take something out of you, especially if you've seen it. The buzz this morning was a lot about Marty and how he was doing."
Martinez is the Kings' fifth-longest tenured player, having spent all eleven seasons of his NHL career with the franchise. He is most remembered for scoring both the Western Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals winning goals, both in overtime, in 2014.
On June 1, Martinez scored 5:47 into overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks; 12 days later, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals versus the New York Rangers, a shot by Tyler Toffoli, which rebounded off of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist at 5:17 left in double overtime, led to another Martinez goal. He became only the 17th player in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.
They will miss his veteran voice in the locker room and presence on the ice, but his injury will create some opportunities for other players. Hopefully, some of the other players can step up and take on more responsibility.
"There's players that have been waiting for more ice time and more opportunity," McLellan said. "They will get it. It will give us a chance to evaluate."