Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Young Defenseman Alec Martinez A Surprise With LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez has moved up from the AHL to become
a fixture on the Kings’ blue line.
Photo: David Sheehan
EL SEGUNDO, CA — So far this season, the Los Angeles Kings have been a surprise, but mostly for the wrong reasons.

Indeed, the Kings were expected to be among the top teams in the Western Conference. But after a stretch in November when they lost seven out of eight games, and an even more brutal stretch from late December through most of January when they lost ten out of twelve games, the Kings are struggling just to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot in the hyper-competitive Western Conference, even though they are 5-0-1 in their last six games, and 6-3-1 in their last ten.

Perhaps as big a surprise has been the play of young defenseman Alec Martinez, 23, who not only failed to make the Kings roster out of training camp, but was also a big question mark in terms of ever making the jump to the National Hockey League level.

Like most young prospects, Martinez, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (95th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, toiled in the minor leagues for a couple of seasons, and improved year-to-year. But when the 2010-11 NHL season began, Martinez was not in the Kings’ immediate plans, with seven or eight defensemen ahead of him on the depth chart. As such, he wound up playing twenty games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, to start the season.

Despite the adversity, Martinez was not deterred. Rather, he just worked harder to improve, and wound up leading the Monarchs in scoring with five goals and eleven assists for 16 points when he was called up by the Kings on November 23, 2010…

To read the full story, click on: Young Defenseman Alec Martinez A Surprise With Los Angeles Kings.

Raw audio interviews

(Edited to remove extraneous material and dead air)

Alec Martinez (2:15)

Terry Murray (1:08)

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