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Islanders' Martin to work red carpet at MTV VMAs

by Brian Compton

Matt Martin is no stranger to being surrounded by stars. After all, he plays in the NHL.

He'll be surrounded again by stars on Sunday, only this time he'll be working at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Martin, a left wing for the New York Islanders, will be a red-carpet reporter for Barclays Center's BCTV, working alongside Alyonka Larionov, daughter of Hockey Hall of Fame member Igor Larionov.

The Islanders' future home -- they are scheduled to move to Brooklyn in the fall of 2015 -- is site of the MTV Video Music Awards this year, and BCTV will be showing interviews inside the arena and on its website (

"I knew originally I wanted to go to the VMAs, and Barclays Center was running it and they wanted to get a player over there," Martin told "Obviously, I was excited to just kind of go on the red carpet and walk the red carpet. Just the other day, they asked me if I wanted to co-host it, and I thought that'd be a pretty cool opportunity. It all kind of unfolded nicely."

A fan of country music, the 24-year-old recently attended a Kenny Chesney concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. He's hoping he gets to speak with some of his favorite artists; more importantly, he's looking forward to seeing some of them perform.

"I'm not sure who I'll get to talk to, so I'm not getting my hopes up on talking to anyone in particular," Martin said. "I think it'll be cool to really just talk to any of them. There's a lot of good performers. I know Macklemore is playing, and Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus … these are all songs that I listen to, so it's going to be pretty cool to kind of get all these performers in one concert. I'll get to say I watched them all play."

This will be Martin's first foray into the reporting business. He's expecting to have a few jitters but said he plans on having fun with a new experience.

"I'm usually getting interviewed. I've never interviewed anyone before," Martin said. "So it's going to be interesting. Obviously, I'm going to have to roll with the punches a little bit and get used to it. But I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun. The main thing is to just kind of stay loose, I guess, and enjoy it."

Barclays Center, the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, opened in the fall of 2012. It was the highest-grossing venue in the United States for concerts and family shows between Nov. 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, according to Billboard Magazine.

The Islanders will play at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for two seasons before moving to Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season.

"It's beautiful. I've been there a few times now," said Martin, who led the NHL with 234 hits in 48 games last season. "They really did an amazing job with the Barclays Center. We're definitely excited to play there. They were the highest-grossing arena last year in the U.S. Obviously, it's state-of-the-art."

The MTV Video Music Awards will be shown live Sunday on MTV at 9 p.m. ET.


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