Jordan Martinook said he was coming back from the bank Thursday in Phoenix when he got a phone call he did not expect.
Not in early May, with the Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing.
Martinook, 25, learned he had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in a forward-for-forward hockey deal that also included draft picks and some retained salary by the Hurricanes. The Canes sent Marcus Kruger and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft to the Arizona Coyotes for Martinook and a fourth-round pick.
“It was very surprising,” Martinook said Thursday. “It’s a weird time to be traded and I was in shock for about the first five minutes. Then it kind of sunk in.
"We have a home here in Phoenix and it will be hard to leave, but looking at the future it’s also exciting. Carolina has a young team, an up-and-coming team. As sad as I am to leave, I’m three times more excited.”
It was the first trade for Martinook, always something of a jolt for a player. Drafted in the second round by the Coyotes in 2012, the left wing made his NHL debut with Arizona in the 2014-15 season and has played the past three full seasons for the Coyotes.
Martinook set career highs in goals (11) and points (25) in 2016-17, then finished this past season with six goals and nine assists in 81 games. Listed at 6-0 and 203 pounds, he was second among Coyotes forwards in hits (128) and shorthanded time on ice (1:50 per game) in 2017-18, averaging 14:01 of ice time per game.
Asked to describe his style of play, Martinook said he was a “hard-working guy who takes pride in penalty killing. That’s been a big part of my game the past there years, working hard on the P.K. I may not be the fastest guy on the ice but I try to be the most hard-working.”
The Canes obtained Kruger from last year in trade with the Vegas Golden Knights. Ron Francis, then the general manager, believed he was bringing in a center who was effective on the penalty kill and strong on faceoffs, a player who had twice won Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and helped Sweden win the 2017 World Championship.
But Kruger, who had a $3.08 million salary-cap hit, gave the Canes little production in his 48 games with the Hurricanes and was reassigned in early February to the Charlotte Checkers, the Canes’ AHL affiliate.
Martinook has one year left on a contract with a $1.85 million salary. The Canes said they will retain 10 percent of Kruger’s salary, which is $2.3 million in 2018-19.
Martinook will be joining a Carolina team that does not have a general manager or head coach, but said he was not overly concerned. There usually was some uncertainty with the Coyotes in the offseasons, he said.
“Obviously they’ll probably get something worked out before the (NHL) Draft,” he said of the Canes.
Martinook said he was living in Edmonton in 2006, when the Oilers and Hurricanes played for the Stanley Cup. He said he recalled Canes fans “going crazy” during the Stanley Cup Final games and hopes to be able to recreate that kind of excitement again in Raleigh.
Martinook said he still remembers Game 1 of the final, when Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson injured a knee and was lost for the series.
“If Rolo doesn’t get hurt …” he said.