Alec Martinez has agreed to sign a one-year, $4 million deal with the Blackhawks on July 1st, bringing in his veteran experience and impressive mindset on a rebuild that has been going on for quite some time. Martinez admitted that he is keen to take on a new role, but at the same time, he seeks to enjoy some bigger strides with the squad that has been gunning for bigger wins.

At the age of 36, Martinez brings in a new dynamic for the Blackhawks, something that has been present in his games over the years, with his impressive performances bringing his game to the next level and leading to a championship one way or another. So far, the defenseman has been quite the great mind in the game, and this says a lot about his future with the squad.

This is a different situation for Martinez, who should be playing for winner at this point in his career. But then the frenzy of the free agency market cannot be underplayed, and there is definitely a massive reason why Alec Martinez himself has agreed to bring his talents to the Blackhawks at this point.

A Veteran in a Rebuild

The Blackhawks have signed multiple veterans in the opening day of the free agency market, bringing in talents such as defenseman TJ Brodie and forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Teuvo Teravainen, Craig Smith and Pat Maroon. Martinez, who is a decorated player in his career, brings in a promising set of experience into the table to guide the Blackhawks – who finished with a 23-53-6 record (eighth in the Central Division).

Martinez played a promising game last season, going for 17 points on four goals and 13 assists in 55 games with Vegas. He averaged 19:03 of ice time, fifth on the Golden Knights behind defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (23:34), Noah Hanifin (23:07), Shea Theodore (22:05) and Brayden McNabb (19:21).

“First and foremost, with the things that Kyle (Davidson, Blackhawks general manager) did just a few days ago and the roster, what he’s added, I’m pretty excited,” Martinez said. “You see some of the names and guys and pedigree, the hockey world’s fairly small, so the quality of human being, caliber, in that way, I’m pretty excited. I think we’re going to be pretty good, too.”

Bringing in Championship Experience

Martinez is a decorated player in the history of the game in his own right. The defenseman won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014 and with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023. Now with the Blackhawks, he is definitely not winning anytime soon with the team still in the middle of a tough rebuild. But there have been signs where the squad has made some fantastic strides so far.

“There’s a learning curve,” Martinez said. “There are certain ways to handle certain situations and whenever you have someone showing you how to act and how to confront and overcome certain challenges and problems, if you have someone to watch that can do that, it’ll only play dividends. I was fortunate that a lot of people did that for me.”

This is an entirely different landscape for Martinez, who has enjoyed different winning years in the game. Still, he embraces the opportunity to make an impact in the game and prove that he can indeed, be a promising player for the Blackhawks.