Former Sabres forward Rick Martin passes away

The hockey world was rocked with some tradgic news on Sunday when it was announced that former Buffalo Sabres forward, Rick Martin, passed away of a heart attack. Martin, who was a Sabres first round draft choice back in 1971, was part of the famed 1970’s French Connection line, which also featured Rene Robert and hall of famer, Gilbert Perreault. Starting as a rookie, when he scored 44 goals and 74 points, Martin quickly found his way into Sabre fan’s hearts. He went on to post five 40 goal campaigns in registering 384 goals and 701 assists, in a 10 year career. “We lost a heck of a guy today,” Sabres coach, and Martin’s former teammate, Lindy Ruff said. “It’s tough when you lose anybody, and we lost a real good person today. It’s a tough one to take.” Martin, who played 661 career games as a Sabre and 24 in a Los Angeles Kings uniform, apparently suffered his heart attack while driving in the outskirts of Buffalo. According to various witnesses Martin was slumped over the steering wheel when his car crossed the road’s centre line and crashed head on into a utility poll. A state trooper performed CPR on Martin but, unfortunately, it didn’t work, as he was pronounced dead at approximately 1 p.m. at Buffalo hospital. Prior to the Sabres Sunday night home game against the Ottawa Senators, there was a video board tribute to the 59 year-old, who only two weeks prior was reunited with Perreault and Robert at centre ice at HSBC Arena. After the Sunday night tribute fans gave Martin a standing ovation, before granting a moment of silence. “It was with great sadness and a heavy heart that we lost a member of the Sabre family today,” longtime team broadcaster, Rick Jeanneret said. “Rick Martin was a person of joy. You’ll be missed ‘Rico,’ but you will be remembered.” Martin leaves behind his wife, Mikey, and sons, Corey and Josh.

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