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Islanders: 3 free agent left-shot defenseman to target

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders controls the puck during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders controls the puck during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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Alec Martinez #23 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Alec Martinez #23 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Alec Martinez | Vegas Golden Knights

Why him?

Martinez had a great year with Vegas. He put 32 points as he anchored the top pair with Alex Pietrangelo. He isn’t the greatest puck mover but he’s got good offensive instincts and can even create some production on the power play.

What might it cost?

Some think he’ll get a sizeable raise on his $4 million cap hit. But for a player that will be 34 at the start of the 2021-22 season, it’s hard to see that happening. He had a good season, sure, but getting a 150% raise seems like a big jump for someone so late in his career.

A three-year deal worth $13.5 to $15 million seems fair for someone of his caliber and age. That’s a $4.5 to $5 million AAV. So a savings of $500,000 to $1 million over Nick Leddy.

Why it might not work?

Will he want to leave Vegas? Or even leave the West coast?

Just like the Islanders, Vegas is in a win-now mode. Why make the jump across the country? Sure, Vegas has cap issues but so do the Islanders.

I have to admit the possibility is low that the Isles can get Martinez, but when making a left-handed defensive UFA shopping list he tops it. Easily.

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