Alec Martinez
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27) scores the game-winning goal past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. Martinez signed a six-year contract extension on Dec. 3rd. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles – Kings General Manager, Dean Lombardi, made defense his New Year’s resolution. The head honcho of the Stanley Cup Champions signed Latino, Alec Martinez, to a long term contract extension last month and appears to be wisely allocating the Kings funds to lock up young defenseman for the foreseeable future.

In addition to Martinez, Lombardi locked up Drew Doughty until 2019, and signed Jake Muzzin to a five-year extension early in the season. Martinez’s six-year, $24 million deal will keep him under contract beyond 2020, keeping the young core of Martinez, Doughty and Muzzin together through the prime of their prestigious careers.

Martinez was an integral part of both of the Kings’ Stanley Cup trophy runs in 2012 and 2014. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime in game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the NY Rangers. Martinez became the hero of the playoffs as he also scored the winning goal in game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Blackhawks. His two clutch playoff goals guaranteed his team would hoist the cup for the second time in three years.

“I blacked out,” said Martinez about his Game 5 goal. “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.”

Martinez has played in 221 games with the Kings and scored 25 goals since debuting with the team in 2009. He was the fourth round selection of Los Angeles in the 2007 NHL draft and has improved on the ice every year. His time on the ice has increased every season and Los Angeles Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter has faith that he will come through in crunch time.

“Marty’s been pretty solid,” Sutter said. “I mean he shows up for work every day. Not just game day. He shows up every day, works at his game.”

In addition to their three young defensemen, the Kings also have captain, Dustin Brown, superstar goalie, Jonathan Quick, and goal scorers Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik under contract beyond 2020. Lombardi has made sure the core of his Stanley Cup teams remains intact and the future looks bright for the Champions over the next five years.

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