PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero

“I blacked out. I don’t really remember. I think I threw my gear. I don’t know. I just remember everyone coming at me and I couldn’t breathe.”

That was L.A. defenseman Alec Martinez, speaking about his goal at 14:43 of double overtime in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, which gave the Kings their second championship in three years.

It was, as you’d expect, quite the moment. And even though Martinez said he couldn’t remember exactly what happened, all he needed to do was rely on memory — last spring, the 27-year-old rearguard had plenty of experience scoring huge goals in extra time.

Twelve days prior to his Cup-winner, Martinez won the Western Conference Final against Chicago in remarkably similar fashion, with this tally in overtime of Game 7:

“He’s the magic man, I guess,” Kings forward Trevor Lewis said, per “He’s played unbelievable for us. I can’t say enough about him.”

Magic indeed.

The playoff run was filled with historical benchmarks for both Los Angeles and Martinez. The Kings became just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from 0-3 down in their opening-round win over the Sharks, then became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s (on the road, no less) in the same playoff season to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Martinez, meanwhile, went from being an occasional occupant in head coach Darryl Sutter’s doghouse — he was a healthy scratch 10 times during the regular season — to a part of hockey folklore.  The Michigan native became just the 16th player in NHL history to score a Cup-winning goal in overtime, and one of only four defensemen — Bobby Orr, Bill Barilko and Uwe Krupp are the others — to accomplish the feat.

Martinez, though, wasn’t interested in claiming his stake for fame.

“It’s not about me or the goal. It’s about the L.A. Kings and the guys in that room,” he said following the Cup-winning goal. “We did something special. We knew we were a good team.

“Now we know we’re a great team.”

Report: Contract talks underway between Kings, Williams


From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

Williams, 33, is in the last of a four-year, $14.6 million deal that carries a $3.65M annual cap hit. For that money, Williams has been a very productive player for the Kings — two 20-goal seasons, one Conn Smythe and the “Mr. Game 7” moniker — but he’s not getting any younger, and the Kings don’t have a ton of cap space moving forward.

The team’s financial issues this season have been well-documented, especially after playing shorthanded on a couple of occasions following the Slava Voynov suspension. What’s more, GM Dean Lombardi has gone heavy on the lengthy, big-money contracts — Voynov, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick are all signed through 2019 — and still has some key RFA negotiations on the horizon this summer in Kyle Clifford, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.

Per CapGeek, the Kings have only 14 players under contract at approximately $60 million for next season. If the ceiling is to rise to the projected $73M, that’d give L.A. around $13 million to fill out its active roster.

What that means for Williams remains to be seen.

Coyotes hold team meeting following loss to the Kings


Dustin Brown scored twice and Martin Jones made 26 saves for his sixth career shutout as the L.A. Kings blanked the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 Thursday night.

The loss was the Coyotes sixth straight at home tying a franchise record.

The Coyotes have gone 172:23 without scoring a goal at home – a stretch of over two and a half games.

Following Thursday’s loss the team held a 20-minute team meeting.

“Everyone had an opportunity to kind of express themselves and what they think,” said captain Shane Doan. “It’s important that we understand that no one’s going to feel sorry for you. They’ll be a lot of people pointing fingers from the outside, and we gotta make sure we’re good on the inside and we just gotta be better as a group. But our belief in each other has to be better, and we gotta have a belief in the fact that we’re a good enough team to win.”

Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez had the other Kings goals.

The Coyotes team meeting comes after news surfaced that GM Don Maloney addressed the team on Saturday following its’ 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.

“We don’t get enough credit for how many skilled guys we have on our team,” said Mike Smith, who was pulled after allowing three goals on 20 shots. “We have good hockey players, and all you read about is how we’re not skilled enough or we don’t score enough goals. But it’s everyone giving a little more to prove people wrong in that sense.”

Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves in relief.

Arizona gets back to action on Saturday when the Boston Bruins visit.

Locking in the core: Kings sign Martinez to six-year, $24 million extension


Los Angeles secured another key contributor long-term on Wednesday, inking defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24 million deal.

The deal, first reported by Sportsnet, kicks in next season and represents a tidy raise on the $1.1 million Martinez is making annually on his current contract. At $4M per, he’ll sit even with Jake Muzzin as the third highest-paid blueliner on the team (trailing Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov.)

Martinez shot to fame last season by scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime of Game 5, but had shown his value and talent well prior to notching that famous tally. The 27-year-old scored a career-high 11 goals and 22 points in just 61 games last year — leading all Kings blueliners in goals — and played 19:40 a night.

In the playoffs, Martinez again proved to be a valuable offensive commodity on the back-end, scoring five goals and 10 points in 24 games.

As mentioned at the top, the deal is another long-term pact from Dean Lombardi. The Kings now have Martinez, Muzzin, Doughty, Voynov, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick all signed through 2019.  The Muzzin deal was signed in mid-October, while the Gaborik deal was completed in late June.

Video: Bob McKenzie discusses Alec Martinez contract talks

NHL insider Bob McKenzie breaks down the latest news out of the NHL, including contract negotiations between the Kings and Alec Martinez, Martin St. Louis facing his former team and more.