As Jacques Martin celebrated the Stanley Cup victory with his Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts a week ago in San Jose, he couldn’t help but think of the dreams that this would happen.

The years of hard work and the dedication finally paid off.

“I think it’s great,” the 61-year-old Martin said Friday from Pittsburgh where the Penguins are still celebrating the win. “The first thing that came to mind is as a kid being raised on a farm, you play on outside ponds, you’re always thinking of winning the Cup, scoring the big goal or making the big save.

“Going through the celebration is a dream and then last Sunday night you realize, ‘Hey, you know what, I’m here and we’ve done it.’”

Martin, installed as an assistant coach with the Penguins when Mike Sullivan took over in December from Mike Johnston, has spent 30 years in the NHL as a head coach, assistant or a GM, which is partially why this meant so much to him. He knows what it means to get there.