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1975 Rick Martin Buffalo Sabres Game Worn Jersey - Photo Match
Lot #479

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1975 Rick Martin Buffalo Sabres Game Worn Jersey - Photo Match
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1975 Rick Martin Buffalo Sabres Game Worn Jersey - Photo Match
Lot #479
This home white dureen gamer by Rawlings was worn by Rick Martin during the 1975 NHL season. The Buffalo Sabres selected Martin with the 5th overall pick in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft. Having selected Gilbert Perreault with the first pick the prior season, the Sabres now had 2/3rds of the French Connection in tow. Martin immediately made his presence felt in the Sabres lineup. As a rookie he scored 44 goals and 74 points in 73 games as this young franchise began to find their way. So impressive was his rookie season that Martin earned himself a spot on the 1972 NHL All Star Team. It would be the first of 7 consecutive All Star games in which this Left Winger would play. Martin became a member of the 50-goal club, netting 52 goals in his 3rd year in the league and followed it up with a brilliant 52 goals in only 68 games in year 4. It was during that season that the young Sabres shocked the hockey world by taking the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Philadelphia Flyers, to game 6 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals.

Martin’s knack for finding the twine didn’t diminish as the years went by. In 1979-80, under new defensive minded coach Scotty Bowman, Martin lit the lamp 45 times. In November of the following season, Martin’s career came to a complete halt. In an early season game against the Capitals, he suffered what would be a career-ending knee injury. Buffalo dealt Martin to the LA Kings in March of 1981 and he played a single game for LA late that season, scoring a goal and an assist. The following year, Rick again tried to test out his bum knee and chronic back troubles and suited up for the Kings 3 times, scoring a goal and 4 points before putting the wraps on a brilliant career. In addition to his 7 NHL All Star games, Rick was 2 times a 1st Team NHL All Star and was 2 times a 2nd Team NHL All Star at Left Wing. In fact, Martin is considered one of the great Left Wings of his era and was well on his way to Hall of Fame enshrinement before the injury derailed his career. 

Martin played in a mere 9 complete seasons, injuring his knee during his 10th year in the league, just 23 games into the schedule. All told he partook in 685 games, all but 4 of them with the Sabres where in Buffalo he is revered to this day. Martin scored 384 goals and ended his career with 701 points, better than a point per game. He is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, holds numerous Sabres goal scoring records and had his player number 7 retired to the rafters where it hangs alongside the jerseys of his French Connection line mates, Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert. On the international stage Martin received an invite after his rookie season to the 72 Summit Series with Team Canada and then represented his country in the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976, scoring 3 goals and 5 points in 4 games. This speedy winger packed a deadly shot and made up the left side of one of hockey’s all-time great lines, the French Connection, where he played alongside teammates Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert during the glory days of the 1970’s. Sadly, Martin passed away a couple of years ago to a heart attack at only 59 years of age.

The game wear on this important 1975 sweater is simply tremendous and consists of numerous stick and slash marks, board burns, plenty of board paint transfer from the boards at the old Aud, washed out bloodstains, inner pilling and by our count 36 team-sewn repairs! In addition, there is reinforcement repairwork to the left sleeve number and loads of reinforced team-sewn repair stitching to the fragile old-school Sabres crest. Shown above are a couple of beautiful photo matches of Martin wearing this exact jersey. One of them is the cover shot of the April 1978 issue of Hockey Digest while the other is a vibrant full page color photo that, thanks to the opposing team, helps date this jersey to the 1975 season. It simply doesn’t get any better than this! Don’t miss out on this incredible and rare opportunity to land this Hall of Fame worthy, French Connection photo-matched gem, choice!