Divers find body of former All-Star Martin after snowmobile accident

Updated: December 2, 2008, 8:20 PM ET
Associated Press

ROUYN-NORANDA, Quebec -- Police divers recovered the body of Hubert "Pit" Martin, a four-time NHL All-Star in the 1960s and '70s, who drowned after the snowmobile he was driving plunged into an icy lake near his home.

Divers found Martin's body Tuesday afternoon, Quebec provincial police said.

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 confirmed Martin ended up in the water, Ouellet said.

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, said former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Dale Tallon, who is now the team's general manager.

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

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.

Nicknamed Pit after a character in a comic strip, Martin spent his last two seasons with Vancouver, retiring after the 1978-79 season.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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