3 Golden Knights that won't be returning next season

Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially when some team favorites are gone. Here are three Vegas Golden Knights that won't be back next season.
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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1. Alec Martinez

When the Vegas Golden Knights acquired Noah Hanifin at the trade deadline from the Calgary Flames, it was an indication that Alec Martinez wouldn't be with the team next season. With a younger, shinier defenseman to fill the void, there would be no need for the native of Rochester Hills, Michigan, anymore.

Martinez had a fulfilling career in the NHL as a member of the Los Angeles Kings and Golden Knights. The defenseman won three Stanley Cups, where he scored a cup-clinching goal in one of those tenures. He's also been a vital part of Vegas's six main defensemen, clogging shooting lanes. However, it seems Martinez's run as a Golden Knight is ending for a couple of reasons.

One, the 36-year-old spent some time sidelined with injuries this season. Of course, that's what blocking 677 shots during a five-year tenure with the Golden Knights gets you. He had a lower-body procedure done a couple of months ago, so seeing Martinez go wouldn't be surprising.

After all, younger defensemen are waiting in the wings for the Golden Knights. Lukas Cormier and Kaeden Korczak will compete for a top-six spot in the Golden Knights lineup. Of course, there's also Ben Hutton, who's ready for the next step with the Golden Knights. Vegas has numerous options for replacing the three-time Stanley Cup winner, especially those that aren't being paid $5.25 millon a year.