Red Wings Weekly Review: Alec Martinez and Cap Space

Mar 22, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar (right) celebrates with defenseman Alec Martinez (23) after defeating the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Locher /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar (right) celebrates with defenseman Alec Martinez (23) after defeating the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Locher /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Vegas Golden Knights were eliminated for barely 24 hours before the Alec Martinez would look good on the Detroit Red Wings blue line thoughts began:

Now to be fair, this wasn’t the first time this was floated out. But as Chris pointed out in his free agent piece a couple weeks back, it would welcome a boost to the blue line with some pretty big Stanley Cup playoff credentials as well.

The question is if it would make sense on both sides. Similar to the Dougie Hamilton scenario it would requite a mutual benefit to both sides in what still shapes up to be a rebuilding year for Detroit. In the end, why would Martinez agree to join Detroit if there really isn’t a defined timeline and the Red Wings seem more likely to be in Shane Wright conversations than playoff ones?

This brings us to the next point.

Red Wings Salary Cap Boon

DetroitHockeyNow’s Kevin Allen penned an article looking at just how much money the Red Wings will still have left over after they make their initial signings. This of course includes re-upping any of their unrestricted free agents, tendering and then offering extensions to restricted free agents and still having a lot of cap space available. Allen projects that the Red Wings will have close to $27 million still available after sewing up all of the expiring contracts.

Of the UFAs Detroit has though, the only mentions Allen makes of any being brought back are Marc Staal and Luke Glendening, which would chip away slightly at the $27 million figure he sets out.  Allen told the Hockey Writers’ Grind Line that he’s sure it’s a “slam dunk” that Staal is back. Interestingly, he doesn’t mention Jonathan Bernier, either while indicating they may need a backup goalie.

While Allen doesn’t see Detroit as being big players in the free agent market, it still lends theory to what Yzerman seems to value most during the rebuild: draft picks and prospects. What better way to acquire them than by weaponizing the salary cap. An excess of $27 million in cap space allows for that beautifully.

Can’t Martinez be an option, too?

He could, especially since as Morosi wrote there are connections with both Blashill and being a native of Michigan. But it would be a short term deal, and probably a pricey one at that. He’s also age wise outside the parameters Yzerman set for building the team at 33.

It also can’t be discounted that overpaying with a short term–knowing that even more money is coming off the cap next season–isn’t possible. Pairing Martinez with a rookie in Moritz Seider would be some fun hockey to watch. Is it worth upwards to the $4.5 million that Chris predicted in his piece?

Unknowns Will be Answered Soon

With the Stanley Cup Final upon us, everything from a buyout of Frans Nielsen to who will be taken in the expansion draft will be closer to a resolution.  The final possible game would be July 11, which puts the Expansion Draft within ten days and the draft only 12 respectively.

All of the questions, instead of the of wondering about the possibilities, will finally provide some answers.

light. Draft Prospect Analysis. Which goaltenders could the Wings draft in later rounds?