Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/27/14
When a young Grant Fuhr was fighting a Battle of the Bulge at one of his early Edmonton Oilers training camps, his boss, Glen Sather, sarcastically stuck a Jenny Craig diet book in the goalie’s dressing room stall. Or was it between Fuhr’s goalie pads? Whatever, it was a shot Fuhr handled just like an Al MacInnis slapshot. He cut back on the caloric intake. Rookie defenceman Martin Marincin, on the other hand, has a better chance of seeing a Top 25 Foods to Gain Weight article in his stall. Peanut butter, whole eggs, salmon, oatmeal, granola, bagels, corn bread, pizza, brown rice ... Marincin is six-foot-four and as thin as a stage microphone stand. “I’m 192 pounds now,” he said proudly, with a smile. Weight aside, the wait for Marincin to be an NHLer is no longer a heavy issue. “I really like that Marincin,” said one Western Conference coach a few weeks back. “Looks like he’s going to be a good player.” NHL scouts coming to Rexall Place have mentioned Marincin, unprompted, for a long while. He has played only 35 NHL games, but he is plus-two and he’s averaging 18 minutes and 35 seconds a game. He truly looks like he can develop into a shutdown D-man, a second-pairing 3-4 guy. He’s got long arms, an active stick, and while he needs to get on the Zdeno Chara workout regimen to put on some muscle, he has some very good tools. He’s got a first step to also pull away from checkers. Marincin, who played with Chara as a mentor for a few weeks with Slovakia at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, looks like he could be a 30-point NHL defenceman, even if his sample size is still fairly small. In a season of losses for the Oilers, Marincin looks like a win. “There’s so many top teams in our conference and top players ... (Ryan) Getzlaf, (Corey) Perry, (Joe) Thornton,” he said. “What do I learn playing them? A lot. “I have a good stick, but for sure I have to be stronger to hold them on the boards (on the cycle) and be really smart.” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins has thrown Marincin into the deep end for the last few months. There’s been little of the stick your toe in the water stuff with the 22-year-old second-round draft pick in 2010. He’s played 20 minutes or more in 12 of his 35 games.
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