The Kings aren’t just ‘going to go out and blow’ their Voynov cap space


Just because the NHL decided to grant the Los Angeles Kings salary-cap relief for suspended defenseman Slava Voynov doesn’t mean the Kings are going to use that financial flexibility right away.

“I think we’re OK right now in terms of numbers,” GM Dean Lombardi told the L.A. Times. “The other thing, it’s not just we’re going to go out and blow the cap space to blow it. It still has to be the right guy. … Let’s get real. Finding top-four defensemen, they’re not available. Because a lot of times to be able to do that you’d better have a guy to replace him because top-four guys are so important to each other’s teams.”

The Kings’ active roster, as of today, includes seven d-men: Drew Doughty (who’s been playing a ton), Alec Martinez (out with a finger injury), Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr, Matt Greene, Brayden McNabb, and Jamie McBain.

When Voynov was suspended, he was averaging 23:11 of ice time.

Related: Need a d-man? Here are five potential trade targets

Sutter: Martinez not close to returning because ‘they nearly cut his finger off’


Pinky fingers are serious business. Just ask Darryl Sutter.

The Kings head coach explained as much on Thursday, saying injured defenseman Alec Martinez — who underwent surgery for a busted pinky last week — isn’t close to returning to the lineup.

“We’ve just got to wait for the wound to heal and that’s going to take some time. It’s got to heal,” Sutter said, per the L.A. Times. “They nearly cut his finger off. So I don’t think he can play in a week …. Your fingers do have a pulse in them and it does hurt. And Marty’s tough. We’ve seen him play lots, not with little-finger injuries but with big injuries. It’s painful.

“Put the glove in there and sweat in there and you’ve got to be careful. You could start losing ground to an infection. We miss him a lot but he can’t play at 20 percent.”

Sutter’s diagnosis flies in the face of the one-week recovery period originally floated by GM Dean Lombardi. Martinez has already missed a full week (three games) and doesn’t sound as though he’ll be ready for Saturday’s game in Dallas.

This injury, combined with Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension, means L.A. will continue to roll with a six-man defensive unit of Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr, Matt Greene, Jamie McBain and Brayden McNabb.

Depleted Ducks: Smith-Pelly (upper body) out for Anaheim

The Anaheim Ducks will be without young forward Devante Smith-Pelly thanks to an upper-body injury. The team announced that Chris Wagner was recalled from the AHL with Smith-Pelly out of the lineup.

Smith-Pelly, 22, scored two of his seven points from this season in the last three games. With the Ducks among the several Western Conference teams dealing with the mumps – Corey Perry doesn’t seem like he’ll be back this weekend, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens – the young winger will be missed that much more.

Here’s one guess on what specifically is bothering “DSP.”

The Ducks managed a frantic 6-5 shootout win against the Kings on Thursday.

While Anaheim’s health is fading, the Kings seem to be getting more robust, as Robyn Regehr re-enters the lineup.

Martinez has finger surgery; Sutter doesn’t like all the minutes Doughty is playing

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Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had finger surgery this morning, no doubt a result of the injury he suffered blocking a shot during last night’s 2-0 loss to Dallas.

GM Dean Lombardi says it’s too early to know about a possible timeline for return, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.

On the bright side for the defending champs, veteran d-man Robyn Regehr may be back for tomorrow’s game against Anaheim. The 34-year-old has missed the last three contests with an undisclosed injury.

But expect once again to see Drew Doughty logging big minutes. He’s played at least 30 minutes in five of the last eight Kings’ games, as the team has been short d-men due to injuries and the suspension to Slava Voynov.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes,” coach Darryl Sutter said of Doughty. “Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at. You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

Even knowing that, Sutter saw fit to play new d-man Jamie McBain just 10:04 against the Stars.

If you missed it last night, here’s the Martinez injury:

Video: Martinez injured following a shot block (Updated)


L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez left Thursday night’s 2-0 loss with 9:29 remaining in the second period after taking a Jordie Benn point shot to the midsection and did not return.

Here’s a look at the play:

“Left the game in the second period and did not return. Once the doctor gives us some more information, that’s about all I can tell you,” coach Darryl Sutter said post-game.

According to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, Martinez left the Staples Center post-game with his hand wrapped up.

L.A. Times reporter Lisa Dillman, reported that via text Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi indicated Martinez’s injury was not serious.

With the Kings’ down to five defensemen for essentially half the game, Drew Doughty finished the night with a game-high 31:39 in time on ice.

Sutter admitted he’s over-working the blue liner.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes. Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at,” he said. “You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

The Kings have Friday off before hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday afternoon.

According to CapGeek, since the Jamie McBain recall, the Kings have under $15,000 in cap space.

If Martinez is unable to go, the Kings will likely have to dress five defenseman again (like they did last weekend against the Canucks) due to salary cap limitations. The other option would be to move a player to Long Term Injured Reserve, which would force the player to miss 10 games and 24 days.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr skated on Thursday, but isn’t expected to be ready for Saturday’s game.

Martinez, who has two goals and seven points while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time in 16 games, is one of only four Kings’ defensemen to appear in every game this season.