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1981-82 Rick Martin Los Angeles Kings Game Worn Jersey - Last NHL Jersey
Lot #33

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1981-82 Rick Martin Los Angeles Kings Game Worn Jersey - Last NHL Jersey
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1981-82 Rick Martin Los Angeles Kings Game Worn Jersey - Last NHL Jersey
Lot #33

This spectacular Rick Martin game worn jersey is completely fresh to the hobby. It had sat in an esteemed private collection dating back to the 1980’s when it was acquired directly from the Los Angeles Kings.

This home gold mesh gamer by Goodman & Sons was worn by Rick Martin during the 1981-82 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 two-thirds 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 turn into 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 and then played in a single playoff game. 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 calling it quits 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 in 2011 to a heart attack at only 59 years of age.

The game wear on this size L sweater consists of stick and slash marks, board burns, board paint transfer, inner pilling and a team-sewn repair on the left elbow. A custom coin and tie-lace fight strap remains sewn to the inner lower verso. Removed from the upper verso is the player name “Martin”. This is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Rick Martin Los Angeles Kings game worn jersey. This spectacular example is packed full of provenance, having sat in a private collection for more than 30 years after being acquired directly from the Kings. This was the last jersey worn by this 7-time NHL All Star during his illustrious career, choice!