LOS ANGELES — Really, it was a pretty good deal for Martin Jones.
You come in after your season with Manchester is over, help us out as a third goalie and we’ll give you the opportunity to lift the Stanley Cup over your head.
At the time, it was a 1 in 16 chance … arguably less than that given that his Los Angeles Kings were an eight seed in the Western Conference. But, on June 11 at Staples Center, there was Jones getting a chance to pick up the most fabled piece of hardware in all of sports.
"It’s pretty incredible just to be a part of it," said Jones in an exclusive interview with ECHL.com on the ice after Game 6.
"It’s a little surreal right now. I think it’ll sink in during the next couple days just how special these guys run was. It was special to be a part of, for sure."
Along with forward Marc-Andre Cliche and defenseman Jake Muzzin, Jones was part of a three-man squad of "Black Aces," that joined the big club after their playoff run in the AHL with the Monarchs had ended.
Although Jones certainly wouldn’t have minded getting a chance to play — but ECHL alum Jonathan Quick seemed to have that one covered — the former Ontario Reign netminder was able to get a lot out of the experience nonetheless.
"We had an opportunity to be able to watch and learn from these guys," Jones said. "I think I can speak on behalf of all three of us and say we soaked up as much as we could and we learned a lot. It’s pretty awesome right now."
The highly touted 22-year-old got to practice with the rest of the team every day — New Jersey held separate practices for their taxi squad — and in the end, he got to hoist the Cup just like everyone else.
"I was a little scared at first, but it was a pretty good feeling," Jones said. "I definitely want to be able to do that again."