3. Rick Martin

3. Rick Martin

In 1970, the Buffalo Sabres took Gilbert Perreault with the First Overall Pick.  The year after, Buffalo had the number five pick, and they would take another native of Quebec, and soon-to-be linemate (and junior teammate), Rick Martin.

Along with Perreault and Rene Robert, Martin was one third of Buffalo's famed "French Connection" line that propelled the Sabres to contenders.  The Left Wing was an impact player out of the gate, scoring 74 Points as a rookie and finishing second for the Calder Trophy.  A six-time All-Star, Martin was named to four post-season All-Star teams (two First Team and two Second Team) and would have back-to-back 52 Goal years, lighting the lamp 382 times as a Sabre.

Martin's career was cut short by two significant injuries, the first in 1977 when he was hooked around the neck, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ice.  He wasn't quite the same after that, but in 1980, his leg was kneed by Washington Goalie Mike Palmateer, ripping his cartilage and effectively ending his career.  

Amazingly, the Sabres were able to package him out to the Los Angeles Kings for two draft picks, one of which would be Tom Barrasso.  Martin's number 7 would be retired by the organization in 1995, six years after he and his French Connection linemates were inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Left Wing
  • Acquired: Selected in the 1st Round, 5th Overall in the NHL Draft 6/10/71.
  • Departed: Traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Los Angeles’ 1981 3rd Round Pick (which would be Colin Chisolm) and 1983 1stRound Pick (which would be Tom Barrasso 3/10/81.
  • Games Played: 681
  • Notable Statistics:

    382 Goals
    313 Assists 
    695 Points 
    475 PIM 
    1.02 PPG 
    +12 Plus/Minus 
    70.2 Point Shares 
    53 Points in 62 Playoff Games

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    First Team All-Star (1974 & 1975)
    Second Team All-Star (1976 & 1977)
    All-Star Game (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 & 1978)

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