Rick Martin played on the "French Connection" line in Buffalo with René Robert and Gilbert Perreault. He was selected 5th overall in 1971 after scoring 121 points with the Montréal Jr. Canadiens. He led the Sabres with 44 goals as a rookie in 1972, which earned his first of seven straight All-Star game appearances. Martin reached the 40-goal mark 5 times and set a career-high with 95 points in 1975. He also won a Canada Cup in 1976 and retired in 1982 with 384 goals and 701 points in 685 games.
Martin, 59, died March 13, 2011, of a heart attack suffered while a heart attack while driving, in Clarence, N.Y. A post-mortem examination found that Martin also had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of death.
Martin was part of one of the most famous lines in hockey history; ”The French Connection,” which featured Martin and fellow Quebecers, Gilbert Perreault and René Robert.
On March 10, 1981, Martin was traded to Los Angeles by Buffalo in exchange for a 1981 3rd round puick (Colin Chisholm) and a 1983 1st round pick (Tom Barrasso). This because of an injury that Martin had suffered on November 8 the previous year. He was later forced to retire due to the cartilage damage caused to the knee.