Richard Martin dies of heart attack, @ 59 years old,..yikes !!..... I helped install a stereo in Rick Martin's car while I worked at a Texaco station at 3rd & Champlain in Ville Lasalle , He just bought himself a white trans-am with the huge bird decal on the hood,.this was his treat for himself when he was signed by the Buffalo Sabres,,,,,making the NHL was a big deal, (still is) but a local boy was neat to see....he was a bit cocky ,but hey a young guy making (in those days,big dough) I guess he could act cocky if he liked, he sure could play hockey with a great shot......RIP --RICK.
Former Sabres great Rick Martin dies
Rick Martin, the first 50-goal scorer for the Buffalo Sabres and a member of their famed French Connection line, died Sunday.
Martin, who was 59, suffered a heart attack while driving in western New York state, according to numerous local media reports.
He was an NHL star in the 1970s with 384 goals and 317 assists for 701 points in 685 games, all but a handful with the Sabres.
During that time, Martin combined with fellow French Canadians Gilbert Perreault and René Robert to give Buffalo the top line in the league for a time, and they helped lead the Sabres to the 1975 Stanley Cup final in just their fifth year of existence.
Martin is survived by a wife and two children.
Born in Verdun, Que., Martin starred with the Montreal Junior Canadiens and was selected fifth overall by Buffalo general manager Punch Imlach in the 1971 NHL amateur draft. The Sabres claimed longtime contributors Craig Ramsay and Bill Hajt in the later rounds of that draft.
Martin was such a precocious talent that after a 44-goal rookie season with Buffalo, he was part of the Canadian contingent selected for the Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Although he never played in the famous 1972 series, he did score three times for his country in its triumphant Canada Cup win four years later.
Martin scored 52 goals in consecutive seasons for Buffalo, including in 1974-75, when he contributed seven goals and eight assists in 17 playoff games as the Sabres eventually lost in six games to Philadelphia in the Stanley Cup final.
Perreault and Martin were former teammates in junior hockey with the Junior Canadiens, but the pair had a spat in 1975-76, leading coach Floyd Smith to break up the line for a while.
The French Connection was done for good after 1978-79, when Robert moved on to the Colorado Rockies.
Martin was mostly healthy through nine NHL seasons, but his body began to betray him. He was traded to Los Angeles but played just four games with the Kings and was finished in the NHL before his 31st birthday.
There was acrimony for several years with the Sabres, as Martin, the team and insurance companies were entangled in several lawsuits. Martin claimed he was given an improper diagnosis for a knee injury by the team doctor, and that he was pressured by Scotty Bowman and others to return to the lineup too soon after the injury, leading to a premature end to his career.
Martin won an undisclosed amount in 1994 against the estate of the late team doctor.
He settled in the Buffalo area and had business interests in the community. In recent weeks, Martin joined Perreault, Robert and other former Sabres to help welcome new owner Terry Pegula.
Born: July 26, 1951