|6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
200 lb (91 kg)
|Teams||Detroit Red Wings|
Minnesota North Stars
|Born||June 21, 1957,|
|Pro Career||1981 – 1996|
Steve Martinson (born June 21, 1957 in Minnetonka, Minnesota) is a retired American professional ice hockey player. He played in 50 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Minnesota North Stars over parts of four seasons.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
After playing for the St. Cloud State Huskies the undrafted Martinson turned pro with the Toledo Goaldiggers in 1981. Five years of solid play for Toledo got him a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, Martinson never played for the Flyers and just played two seasons for the Hershey Bears.
The Detroit Red Wings signed him in 1987 and gave Martinson his first NHL experience with 10 games in 1987-88. THe following year he signed with the Montreal Canadiens and in 1991 with the Minnesota North Stars. always playing as a NHL part-timer.
Injuries caught up to Martinson and he retired early in the 1994-95 season. He did return for one game in the 1995-96 season.
In the NHL Martinson played in 49 games and scored 2 goals and an assist.
Coaching Career[edit | edit source]
Martinson's first head coaching job was with the San Diego Gulls of the West Coast Hockey League in 1995. Martinson was hired as the team's first head coach after playing for the former Gulls team that played in the IHL. He had immediate success in the newly formed league and the WCHL Gulls won the first three league championships, the Taylor Cup, in 1996, 1997, and 1998. He coached the Gulls for nine of the team's eleven seasons, winning two more Taylor Cups, in 2001 and 2003.
After one season of coaching the Gulls after the team joined the ECHL in 2003, he left the organization to become the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs in the United Hockey League in 2004. He stayed with the IceHogs for three seasons, winning the league championship in 2007. During that season, Martinson ordered a line of enforcers to assault players of the Fort Wayne Komets. One of those players, 43 year old Konstitin Shafronov, contemplated retirement due to the acts of Martinson and the IceHogs.
He then left the IceHogs after the championship season to become the head coach of the Elmira Jackals in their first season in the ECHL in 2007. With the Jackals, his teams qualified for the playoffs every season following multiple years of no postseasons before he was hired.
In 2010, he left the Jackals to become the inaugural head coach of the expansion Chicago Express in the ECHL. However, the Express did not take the ice until 2011 would end up only playing one season in 2011–12.
After the Express folded in 2012, he became the head coach of the Allen Americans in the Central Hockey League. His teams once again had immediate success winning the 2013 and 2014 Ray Miron President's Cup for the CHL's playoff championships. The Americans joined the ECHL in 2014 and continued to have success, winning the league championship Kelly Cup after their first two seasons, in 2015 and 2016.
As a coach, Martinson has won a total of ten championships in four North American ice hockey leagues, including five with the San Diego Gulls (1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003) in the West Coast Hockey League, four with the Allen Americans in the Central Hockey League (2013, 2014) and the ECHL (2015, 2016), and one with the Rockford IceHogs in the United Hockey League (2007). Martinson is the first American born coach to win 1000 games as a head coach.