Alec Martinez is a 34-year-old American professional hockey player for the National Hockey League. He currently plays defense for the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas and has also played for Los Angeles Kings, where he won the Stanley Cup twice, during his NHL career.
Martinez was born in July 1987 in Rochester Hills, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He started playing hockey at a very early age in California, for the Santa Clara Blackhawks and then for the Jr San Jose Sharks. He had an amazing high school hockey career in Rochester Hills at Stoney Creek High School, where he played varsity hockey beginning as a freshman and earning a varsity letter all 4 years.
Alec Martinez went to college and played hockey at Miami University in Ohio. While playing there, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, going 95th overall. He spent the 2008-2009 season playing for the LA Kings AHL affiliate team, the Manchester Monarchs. After Kings development camp in 2009, he earned a spot on their NHL roster, but only played 4 games and had no goals or assists in his 6 shots on goal.
He was sent back down to the Manchester Monarchs for the first couple of months of the 2010-2011 season. He was recalled to the Kings to replace one of their struggling players on November 23rd. The next night, he scored his first NHL goal on the road in Montreal, against famed goaltender Carey Price. On December 4th, he had his first multi-point game against the Detroit Red Wings. Martinez spent the rest of that season proving himself both a solid defensive and offensive player.
After that season, on July 8, 2011, Alec Martinez was offered and signed a 2-year, $1.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings. He played another great season, and the team went on to win the coveted NHL Stanley Cup on June 11, 2012.
In 2012 the NHL experienced a labor lockout between the NHL and NHLPA, which resulted in the upcoming season being put on pause and ultimately having only half the games of a usual NHL season. The 2012-2013 season never began (originally scheduled for an October 11 start) and ended up in a shortened season that finally started mid-January 2013. It was because of this complication that Alec Martinez signed with HC TPS in Finland, so that he could continue playing hockey despite the league-wide pause.
During his time in Finland, Martinez took a slapshot to the face and was hospitalized for a concussion. He had 5 fractures and a broken sinus on the left side. He ultimately had surgery where doctors inserted 2 metal plates in his face. He remained out of the game being evaluated and treated, before finally returning to the ice around Christmastime that season. He remained there until the NHL lockout ended and then returned to the Kings in January 2013.
When another injury plagued Martinez in 2013, he was out for the 10 of the Kings first 15 games that season. He finally recovered and had a stellar season as a defenseman, contributing quite a bit offensively as well. The LA Kings went to Stanley Cup Playoffs that season and found themselves in the Finals. Martinez was responsible for 2 immensely important goals that postseason. The first was an overtime winner in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks, to clinch the series and the Western Conference Champions title for the Kings. Just 12 days later, the Kings were in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. Both teams were in double overtime when a shot attempt by Tyler Toffoli rebounded off Henrik Lundqvist and became the perfect opportunity for Alec Martinez to score the game winning goal. He became the 17th player in the NHL to score a Cup-winning goal in overtime. He was the first to do it since 2010 when Patrick Kane did, and the first to do it on home ice since Bob Nystrom accomplished the feat the whole way back in 1980.
Alec Martinezwas offered a 6-year, $24 million contract extension in December that year and continued playing for the Los Angeles Kings until February 2020 when he was traded at the NHL Trade Deadline to the newest franchise in the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights. His very first game with VGK, he scored a goal and had an assist against the Tampa Bay Lightning, resulting in the team’s 5-3 victory.
Martinez has been both an offensive and defensive threat for the Vegas Golden Knights, leading not only the team but the entire league in blocked shots since the trade. The Vegas Golden Knights at long last offered Martinez a 3-year, $15.75 million contract on July 28th, 2021, which he signed. Martinez is certainly one of the most highly regarded players on the team, and a fan favorite as well.
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