Time to add two more Michigan natives to the list of Stanley Cup champions.
Michigan products Matt Greene (Grand Ledge) and Alec Martinez (Rochester Hills) hoisted the cup for the first time in their careers Monday night, when the Los Angeles Kings posted a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
And to make things a little bit more special, the two Michigan natives were defensive partners during the Kings’ dominating playoff run.
It took Greene seven seasons to raise Lord Stanley while Martinez did it in just his second full season.
Here’s a look at the hockey journeys of both Michigan products; how they became members of hockey’s elite.
Greene began his junior career by playing twenty games for the U.S. Junior National Team in 2000-01. The following season he played for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL where he put up 24 points and accumulated 150 penalty minutes.
He was drafted by the Oilers in the second round, 44th overall in the 2002 NHL draft, but played three years at the University of North Dakota before moving on to the professional ranks.
The Grand Ledge native made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers in 2005-06, where he played in 27 games. He also spent time with the Iowa Stars of the AHL. The next season, he played in 78 games, establishing himself as an everyday NHLer in the process.
Greene was traded to Los Angeles after the 2007-08 season and has scored 10 goals and 39 assists in 310 games since putting on a Kings uniform.
And to top it off, he scored the final goal of the NHL season, putting the final touches on a Cup-clinching 6-1 win.
For Martinez, playing hockey is California nothing new to him. He played two seasons of Pee Wee hockey for the Santa Clara Blackhawks and one season for the Bantam AA Jr. Sharks before moving back to Michigan. His next stop was Honeybaked’s Midget 16U AAA team and then Cedar Rapids in the USHL where he had 12 points in 2004-05.
Martinez was drafted 95th overall in the 2007 NHL draft after his sophomore season at Miami University. He played one more year at Miami before going professional and ended his RedHawks career with 67 points.
Martinez saw his first NHL action briefly in 2009-10 when he played four games with the Kings. He started the next season in the AHL, but was later called up and played the majority of the season with LA.
He has played in 111 games for the Kings over the past two seasons and has netted 11 goals while adding 17 assists.