Los Angeles Kings goalie Martin Jones enjoyed a homecoming with the Stanley Cup when he returned to his native North Vancouver for a celebration at the North Shore Winter Club, where Jones played minor hockey.
Founded in 1958, the club's alumni feature current NHL players including Jones, Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets), Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators) and Drayson Bowman (Carolina Hurricanes). The NSWC and its members welcomed Jones home with a parade through town during which he showed off the Cup while atop a Zamboni.
"I remember playing here for four years and those were some amazing memories I had here, so to come back and have that kind of welcome was awesome," Jones told the Vancouver Sun. "I think that's what's so special about this thing, when you're able to share it, especially at a place where you spent a lot of time as a kid. And to come back and give back a little bit it's fun for them and it's fun for me as well. There's some happy kids out there, so that's what it's all about for sure."
Originally signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 2, 2008, Jones began his NHL career 8-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .966 save percentage and three shutouts while becoming the second rookie in Kings history (Gerry Desjardins, 1968-69) to earn consecutive shutouts. He began last season with the Manchester Monarchs in the American Hockey League, but joined the Kings two months later and went 12-6-0 with a 1.81 GAA and four shutouts.
"It's crazy how emotional and how intense it is during the playoffs," Jones said during a question-and-answer session. "Being down three-nothing you think you might be done, and then you slowly come back and you end up winning. It's a long, long grind and it's emotional, but it's pretty rewarding.
"It's been a pretty crazy year for me, starting in the minors and getting called up, and then having this happen. It's just been a good opportunity for me and I'm excited to see where it goes from here."