Alec Martinez won't subtly return to the NHL tonight. He'll be joining a Kings team that's lost four of their last five games.
He'll also be facing some small little club you may have heard of, the Montreal Canadiens. Outside of Toronto, it may just be the most hockey crazed market in North America.
Fortunately for him, with just four games of NHL experience, he'll probably go under the radar for most of the local media. Besides, their big story heading into the game is named Jonathan Bernier.
Using our popular 10 Tidbits format, here is some information to help you get to know the newest addition to the Kings blueline this season...
* First off, you'll be glad to know his nickname isn't 'Ally.' According to Corey Elkins, his teammate in Manchester (AHL), they call him 'Marty.' After it was announced Martinez would join the team this week I asked Elkins about his recent play with the Monarchs and he said "Marty has been awesome on the power play for us. He takes smart shots that get through traffic and moves the puck real well. Its fun to watch." Coach Terry Murray is probably hoping he'll be fun to watch for the Kings!
* He's spent the last two years with Manchester, sans his brief time in LA last season. His rookie year in the AHL (2008-09) he posted eight goals and added 15 assists in 72 games. Then, last season, he led all defenseman with 30 points (7g, 23a...while playing in only 55 games!). Prior to his call up yesterday he was a plus-four in 20 games and his 16 points (5g, 11a) were leading ALL players on the team.
* Going back in time a little, Martinez grew up in Michigan - minus a three year period where his dad took a job in Northern California. During grades six through eight he played for the Santa Clara Blackhawks and San Jose Jr. Sharks. The most famous player to ever suit up for a 'Hawks team? Buffalo Sabres goalie and Olympic MVP, Ryan Miller.
* Once he returned to Michigan, he went on to letter at Stoney Creek High School all four years...yes, in hockey. He also represented the United States in 2004 at the Under-18 Junior World Cup.
* Played in the USHL - as have several current Kings, including Davis Drewiske. Martinez was there from 2004-05, playing for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. One of his teammates that year was former Kings winger, Teddy Purcell. They faced off several times that season against theDes Moines Buccaneers, which included Kings winger Trevor Lewis. Overall, Martinez had 21 points (10g, 11a) in 58 games and was a plus-16. By comparison, Lewis had 22 points in 52 games.
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10 Tidbits on Alex Martinez