An open letter to Martin Marincin

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So, I guess this is goodbye, huh? Obviously not the circumstances I wanted, but hopefully you’re happy about it.

You probably don’t know who I am — but I definitely know who you are. You’re great person. A mysterious man. An elite highlight-reel goal-scorer.

It all started back on February 29th, 2020 when you scored that goal. It was truly amazing.

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The smile on your face after you scored it, the joy everyone had when you put it past Thatcher Demko — each and every moment you stepped onto the ice after that — I was looking for you.

A few days after the goal, I was pressed to buy your jersey. One of my tweets hit 500 retweets and I had to answer the bell, which for me meant purchasing a possible one-in-ten Martin Marincin Leafs home jersey.

Yep. I spent $280 on that thing.

The man making the jersey wondered if I was crazy when I asked for it, to which I said “no”. But honestly, I didn’t know what was to come in the future.

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Because of you, I’ve met a lot of great people online. Great isn’t even the right word — they’re incredible. I posted the photo of me standing with your jersey in front of Scotiabank Arena, and since then the tweet has been seen over 383,259 times.

This was probably the best purchase of my life.

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Now it will forever hang wherever I live. If there are Leafs games in the future that I can attend (without working them), you better believe I’m wearing it.

Obviously you won’t be there, but I’ll be supporting you. That’s what I did after I purchased the jersey. Whether it was with the Marlies or with the Leafs — I was always looking to see if you were out on the ice.

I attended some of the Marlies’ games this year and was there when you registered your first point of the season.

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Was that because of me? I won’t take accountability for it, but it could have been.

There was always something about you — the way you play, the way you dress coming to games, your love for cars — everything, really. It gives me a sense of calmness. Like how you played with the Marlies this season.

Just under a month before I bought your jersey, I attended the Leafs/Panthers game. You were there.

It was a weird game for me. I sat in what I like to call my “secret seats”. When you sit in them, the view of the rink is absolutely perfect. And throughout that night I saw the likes of Kyle Dubas, Roberto Luongo (who was there because he works for the Panthers), Joe Sakic (I’m not sure why he was there), and you.

I remember vividly being nervous thinking about whether or not I was even allowed to go down to the platinum lounge after the game. I eventually grew the courage to walk down, and when I did — you walked out.

“Have a great road trip!” A staffer murmured as you walked out the door.

“Oh my god, that’s Martin Marincin!” I said to myself in my head.

And little did I know that a month later I’d own your jersey. Weird how things work out, isn’t it?

At one point last summer, I attempted to get you to voice the intro to my podcast, NickTok. Your agent said you’d be open to it, but I never received an email from you.

I was upset.

However, time heals everything. It mended that wound and I’m sure it’ll mend this one, too.

Enjoy your time back home. It sucks that you and the Leafs couldn’t do the thing, but I know you’ll be happier there. Keep toe-dragging players in the opposing end, you did a good job of that in the AHL.

Again though, I just want to say thanks.

I’m really not sure if you know who I am, or if you’ll even see this. But just know that you changed my life by scoring that highlight-reel goal against the Vancouver Canucks.

Even though there was a pandemic right after you scored — that goal and jersey are something that helped me through this past year, and really, it will help me for the rest of my life.

If you’d ever like to sign it, that’d be incredible. And I’m sure you can find me if you ever have the wants to.

Thanks for everything and stay “Marvellous”,

Nick Barden