San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Another arbitration avoided: Alec Martinez signs two-year deal with Kings

It’s looking like July 27 might not be a very dramatic day for the NHL. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was scheduled to be the sole player receiving salary arbitration on that day, but it didn’t take long for the two sides to agree on a two-year deal instead today. Financial terms weren’t revealed, but Martinez probably didn’t get much money.

This two-year deal is a mild vote of confidence for Martinez, but he’s not guaranteed a steady spot in the Kings lineup. Kings GM Dean Lombardi clearly values stockpiling options on the blueline, because the team’s depth chart is stacked in that position. Looking at younger, less-established defensemen alone, Martinez will probably fight for playing time with the likes of Viatcheslav Voynov, Thomas Hickey and Nicolas Deslauriers in the near future and prospects such as 2010 first round pick Derek Forbort during the life of this deal.

It seems like he has the short-term leg-up on some of those guys, though. Martinez played in 60 games for the Kings in 2010-11 after starting the season in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs. Martinez scored 15 points in those 60 games and seems like a semi-decent (but not game-changing) offensive defenseman in a depth position for Los Angeles.

Brad Richardson ranks as the only other Kings player set for salary arbitration, but the team’s most obvious question mark remains with restricted free agent superstar Drew Doughty. Lombardi can make all the right moves (and it might be true that he has, with great contracts for guys like Simon Gagne and the fantastic value of the Mike Richards trade) but the franchise’s future will be shaped by what happens with Doughty.

We’ll keep you informed about those negotiations as the 2011-12 season approaches and the Kings hope to generate their best chance for a Stanley Cup run in a long, long time.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.