Monday, December 1, 2008

RIP:Pit Martin

When I started to follow the Chicago Blackhawks in the early 70's, I was surprised to find out that my mom had been a big fan of the team. I figured my dad followed the Blackhawks, but my mom? Yet, there she was, telling me about the players. One of those players was Hubert 'Pit' Martin.
Martin (along with Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris) had come to the Hawks in a trade with the Boston Bruins for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred
Stanfield. The trade is often viewed as lopsided, since Espo went on to a Hall of Fame career and Hodge was a 3 time All-Star during his 10 years in Boston. Marotte and Norris were both gone from Chicago within 3 seasons.
However, Martin is often overlooked. Martin, a 4 time All-Star, scored over 20 goals in 7 of his 10 seasons with the Hawks, scoring 30 goals 3 times. Back then, 20 goals meant more than it does today. In the 69-70 season, Martin won the Bill Masterson Trophy as the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Martin (5'8", 180 lbs.) was part of the famed MPH line (with Jim Pappin and Bobby Hull). He was also a captain in his later
years, until he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he finished his career.
On Sunday November 30, Martin's snowmobile plunged through the ice on Lake Kanasuta in northwestern Quebec. Although his body has not been found, Martin was pronounced dead this morning.
Martin was one of the first players I ever
remember. I never got to meet him, but I did correspond with him a few times. Thanks for the memories, Pit!


Anonymous said...

Pit Martin, Chiko Maki, Jim Pappin, Doug Jarrett, Bill White, Pat Stapleton and on and on. I loved those old Hawks, too!

Anonymous said...

This post brings back great memories of when I really loved hockey. Tony Esposito was the coolest goalie ever! The late Keith Magnuson was one of the toughest guys, but off the ice he was so nice.
Thanks for the great memories and yes, rip to Pit Martin!