I just want to take a minute to talk about a certain Kings player.
One who, aside from Quick (who was a given, because he’s a goalie), was my first “favorite” Kings player since I started watching hockey again.
I don’t see him talked about on here (or anywhere else) as much as I want, so I’m just gonna do it myself.
This player was skipped over twice in the draft, and had not expected to be drafted the third year he was eligible. He was going to school and was unexpectedly drafted and given an offer by the Kings. He left school to play for the Monarchs.
Though he was expecting to make the NHL at the beginning of the 2010 season, he was cut from the Kings training camp, and was, according to his dad, livid. Instead of pouting, he just scored 16 points in 20 games with Manchester, and was finally called up for good.
When he left school to sign with the Kings, he promised his parents he’d still get his degree. He’s taken sit-in and online classes over summers and even online classes during the season to keep that promise.
After bringing the Stanley Cup home, his mom, speaking to friends and family, said, “As most of you already know, [he] shouldn’t really be here. When [he] was born, he was very, very sick. What the doctors were telling us was so dire. I just wanted him to be able to take care of himself. I just wanted him to be able to make it in this world on his own. My God, what gravy did we get.”
This guy was not an instant success with fans and in the NHL. In 2011, when my brother asked me who I liked on the Kings, and I said this player, he looked at me weird and said, “Uhh… Why…?” He definitely would not say that, now.
Now, we would fall (and actually have fallen) apart without him. We might not have made it past Chicago in 2014 without him. We might not have the second Stanley Cup without him. And still, he tends to get overlooked sometimes. So here’s to Alec Martinez, one of the most awesome players people don’t always pay attention to.