Alec Martinez played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a broken foot, the Vegas Golden Knights defenseman said Saturday.
“It was a lot of rest. I obviously couldn’t talk about it much then,” Martinez said. “I touched on our medical staff; they did an incredible job taking care of me day in and day out. It was a broken foot.
“In terms of my daily routine, it was a lot of rest and staying off it, and just managing the swelling and all that. I couldn’t have done it without our medical staff. I sound like a broken record, but they were pretty incredible. I’m very thankful to them to be able to manage something and put me in a position where I could go compete with the guys playing the best time of the year.”
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said the injury occured during the regular season.
“He’s been a great addition,” McCrimmon said. “His offensive production was very high-end. At many nights, he was our best defenseman. He broke his foot late in the regular season. He missed a handful of games toward the end of the regular season, and he played the entire playoffs with a broken foot.”
Martinez can become an unrestricted free agent July 28.
“I’ll be quite honest, I haven’t really thought about it that much,” the 33-year-old said. “I’m obviously aware I am a UFA, but obviously the loss is still pretty fresh, just a couple days ago. I don’t really know yet. We’ll see what happens.”
Martinez led the playoffs in blocked shots (72), 20 more than the next closest player, teammate Alex Pietrangelo, and was third on the Golden Knights in ice time per game (22:32) behind Shea Theodore (23:07) and Pietrangelo (25:07). Martinez was first in the NHL during the regular season with 168 blocked shots, 40 more than Adam Larsson of the Edmonton Oilers in second.
“I can’t understate the importance of him to our group here with the time he’s been there with me,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said of Martinez. “There’s a reason he’s a multiple Stanley Cup winner. There’s a reason you can count on him at the most important time of the year. It’s not an accident he scores that goal the other night (to tie Game 6 of the semifinals). He rises to the occasion at the tough moments. You can never have enough guys like that.”
The Golden Knights were eliminated by the Canadiens with a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Thursday. Vegas, which finished first in the Honda West Division, defeated the Minnesota Wild in seven games in the first round and the Colorado Avalanche in six games in the second round.
“Unfortunately we came up short, but we’re really close,” Martinez said. “I think a bounce here or there, maybe a couple extra goals. The one thing I’ve kind of learned if you win the whole thing, you’re going to need luck along the way. I think we did a lot of really good things. You don’t get that far without playing good hockey.”
Martinez scored 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 53 regular-season games, and six points (four goals, two assists) in 19 playoff games.
Acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings for two NHL draft picks on Feb, 19, 2020, Martinez has scored 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 63 regular-season games with the Golden Knights and 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 39 playoff games.
“I think this is an incredible hockey club,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys and there’s a lot of talent in the room. The one thing that I’ve learned is that if you’re going to win the whole thing, you’re going to need luck along the way.”
Selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round (No. 95) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Martinez has scored 238 points (73 goals, 165 assists) in 660 regular-season games and 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 103 playoff games.
Martinez won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 and 2014. He scored the Cup-clinching goal in double-overtime of Game 5 of the Final against the New York Rangers in 2014.
“Even when we had our success in L.A., there were seasons that felt like this where we came up short,” he said. “In [2012-13], the lockout year, we lost in the conference final. Having that experience benefits a lot of guys, but at the end of the day, we didn’t get the job done, so we’ve got to figure out how to find an extra gear and get it done.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Danny Webster contributed to this report