Martinson coaching the Chicago Express during the 2011–12 season.
June 21, 1957 |
Minnetonka, MN, USA
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota North Stars
Martinson's college career included playing the 1977–78 and 1978–79 seasons with the St. Cloud State Huskies. Between 1981 and 1986, he played in the International Hockey League and Central Hockey League for the Toledo Goaldiggers (IHL), Salt Lake Golden Eagles (IHL), Birmingham South Stars (CHL), and the Tulsa Oilers (CHL). While with the Tulsa Oilers in the 1983–84 season, the team suspended operations on February 16, 1984, playing only road games for the final six weeks of the season. Despite this adversity, the team went on to win the league's championship, the Adams Cup, his only championship as a player.
After playing parts of the next four seasons in the American Hockey League, mostly with the Hershey Bears and Adirondack Red Wings, Martinson played his first National Hockey League game with the Detroit Red Wings in 1987–88 season. Martinson would go on to play fifty NHL games with the Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Minnesota North Stars over parts of four seasons while mostly playing with those teams AHL or IHL affiliates. He retired early into the 1994–95 season, although he would make a couple more on-ice appearances early into his coaching career with the Fresno Falcons and San Diego Gulls.
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 goons to assault players of the Fort Wayne Komets. One of those players, 43 year old Konstitin Shafronov contemplated retirement due to the egregious acts of Martinson and the IceHogs. Martinson is well known for his temper and loose cannon demeanor that leads to excessive dirty play by his teams.
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 would also join the ECHL in 2014 and they would continue 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).
- Steve Martinson hockey statistics and profile at hockeydb.com, Hockeydb.com. (accessed 11 June 2015)
- Steve Martinson's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Steve Martinson's biography at Legends of Hockey
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