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L.A. Kings player Alec Martinez delivers the Stanley Cup poolside as he celebrates at his home with family and friends.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Kings player Alec Martinez cleans up before taking the Stanley Cup to a Dallas night club.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Kings player Alec Martinez fights back tears as he pays tribute to his family, left, at his Stanley Cup party. Left to right are his sister Maria, mother Lynne and father Frank.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Kings player Alec Martinez watches video highlights of his team's Stanley Cup run with friends and family at his home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Friends of Alec Martinez eat cereal from the Stanley Cup as it spends the day with him.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Kings player Alec Martinez raises the Stanley Cup one last time as his day with the trophy comes to an end on the streets of Dallas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez hugs the Stanley Cup as he poses for pictures at his home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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Touring with the Stanley Cup: defenseman Alec Martinez

By Robert Gauthier

The searing sun glistens off the silver chalice as it stands poolside at the Allen, Texas, home of L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. The Stanley Cup is thousands of miles from its Canadian roots, but looks right at home as pool water and champagne splash over the stamped names of decades of NHL champions.

Martinez’s roots are in California and Michigan, but Allen is his home now, and that’s where the cup stays most of the day. Never more than 20 feet from the trophy, Martinez moves it inside and outside, cradles and hugs it, and hoists it overhead at least 50 times. Except for a brief appearance at a golf driving range and a frantic night at a Dallas club, this celebration stayed personal.

Tears well up in the eyes of Martinez’s mother, Lynne, as she tries not to cry. “As most of you already know, Alec shouldn’t really be here,” she says to friends and family gathered in his living room. “When Alec was born, he was very, very sick. … What the doctors were telling us was so dire.”

“I just wanted him to be able to take care of himself. I just wanted him to be able to make it in this world on his own. My God, what gravy did we get.”

Now everyone in the room is teary-eyed, inspired by a proud mother and a Stanley Cup champion.

Evening comes and Martinez and his buddies are tearing it up at a Dallas night club. But midnight arrives way too soon. That’s when the cup, according to Hockey Hall of Fame rules, must be returned to the “cup keeper,” Howard Borrows. A frantic parade ensues along traffic-choked streets as the player and his friends, accompanied by police and club hoppers, rush to meet Borrows. Sweaty and exhausted, Martinez lays the trophy in a velvet-lined shipping container, leans over and kisses the cup goodbye. Borrows shuts the lid and drives off. Martinez stands with his buddies, satisfied, fulfilled – enjoying the gravy.

Complete Touring with the Stanley Cup coverage

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