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RIP 'Pit' Martin

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Corky Ramirez up on 94th St., Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    Tragic. He was one of the best during his career.

    MONTREAL (AP) _ Hubert "Pit" Martin, a four-time NHL All-Star in the 1960s and '70s, has died after his snowmobile plunged into an icy lake, Quebec provincial police said. He was 64.

    Const. Marie-Josee Ouellet said Martin was driving the vehicle on Lake Kanasuta in northwestern Quebec on Sunday when the ice cracked and he plunged into the freezing water.

    Another man who was driving a separate snowmobile at the time has confirmed Martin ended up in the water, Ouellet said.

    Divers were attempting to retrieve Martin's body.

    Former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Dale Tallon, now the team's general manager, said Martin was a "wonderful guy" and a great hockey player.

    "He always came back in the summer to play golf," Tallon said. "I always admired him as a kid growing up in Noranda. ... It's very sad."

    Martin, who would have turned 65 next week, lived on an island in the lake that was reached by boat in summer and snowmobile in winter, but there were always tricky periods in spring and fall when the ice had to be tested regularly, Tallon said.

    Martin played 1,101 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, amassing 809 points from 1963-79.

    "He was a very smart player, with good speed, and an excellent playmaker," said Tallon, who was seven years younger than Martin and was a good friend of his younger brother while growing up. Tallon and Martin ended up as teammates through most of the 1970s in Chicago.

    Martin was part of one of the biggest blockbuster trades in hockey history in 1967, when he and two other players were shipped to Chicago in the deal that made Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield part of a Bruins dynasty.

    The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Martin was a strong skater and passer whose best years came on Chicago's MPH line with Jim Pappin and Dennis Hull. The Blackhawks had been planning to honor the line at the United Center this season.

    Martin won the Masterton Trophy for sportsmanship and perseverance in 1969-70, his first of three 30-goal campaigns. He had a career-high 90 points in 1972-73 with the Blackhawks.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I dont remember him playing for the Wings, but do the Hawks...
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    RIP to a guy who took some of the sting out of that Esposito-Hodge trade. Still has his autograph.
  4. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    He was one of the first to wear a helmet...a black one, that made him stand out among the other helmet-less ones of the early 70s.

    I have a Blackhawks-Bruins game from '74 on DVD where he scored a goal in a 2-1 win. Graceful player on a team that should have won a lot more during that time period.

    (As an aside, that game was also great because a) Derek Sanderson charged the ref, Wally Harris, and was thrown out, and b) in the final minute, Bobby Orr got tripped on a rush, no call, went ballistic and got tossed. As the refs were speaking with the scorer's table, Harry Sinden comes running down (he wasn't coaching anymore) and also went nuts, resulting in a bench minor. On his way out, which was in the corner of the old Boston Garden rink where the zamboni was kept, Orr smashed his stick on the side of the door and kept walking. The Garden crowd went nuts, fans started throwing stuff on the ice and there was a 10-minute delay. Ahh, old time hawkey).
  5. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    How did the Bruins have a "dynasty" back then? They won the Cup twice in three years and made the Cup finals one other time. Methinks Habs, Red Wings, Islanders, Oilers and even Maple Leafs fans are not impressed with their dynastic dreaming.
  6. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    Although they were upset in the first round of the 70-71 playoffs, I think the Bruins most certainly deserved the dynasty tag. That year, sandwiched around the two Stanley Cups, Boston had 121 points — 12 more than anyone else in the league. The team was made up of a who's who of great players...Orr, Esposito, Hodge, Cheevers, Johnston, Cashman, Sanderson, Stanfield, MacKenzie... You talk about great teams, IMO the Big, Bad Bruins of that era rank up near the top in league history.
  7. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I believe a dynasty is defined by championships, repeated ones, more than two in a very short period of time- think Toronto in the 1940s and 1960s, Montreal in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Islanders and Edmonton in the 1980s, Detroit from 1997 to today - which means Boston comes up short.

    It doesn't matter who finished first in any given season. It matters who wins the Stanley Cup. When you think of the 1971 Bruins, you don't automatically think that they finished first. You think that they were upset by the Habs, who went on to win the Cup. You think of them (or you should!) as the biggest washouts in league playoff history, taking the place of the 1967 Black Hawks - at least, until the 1996 Red Wings came along.

    The Bruins are in good company, though, among almost-but-not-quite NHL dynasties. The Flyers of the mid '70s also fall short, in my opinion, as do the Penguins of the early '90s. Two Cups just don't cut it. But even those teams were fortunate to do that much when you consider that Chicago could easily have won another four or five Cups between 1961 and 1973 and settled for just one.
  8. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    What a terrible way to go.

  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    I'm old enough to remember Pit Martin when he played junior hockey for the Hamilton Red Wings.

    And one of his teammates was "No, Double J, He Should Not be in the HOF", Paul Henderson. :)
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That means he was also a teammate of John ("If anybody throws me against the boards, I'll piss all over myself") Gofton. :)
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    The goalie for that Hamilton team was Stratford's own Buddy Blom who also played for the Burlington Junior B Red Wings. He was the first southpaw goalie I ever saw.

    If I remember correctly, the '62 Red Wings won the Memorial Cup.
  12. I have terrible arguments all the time about this. I think the Espo-Orr Bruins are one of the most underachieving teams of all time. They won two Cups. They should have won four or five. They're right up there with the 1985-86 Mets in that regard.
    RIP, Pit. That is one seriously Canadian death right there.
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