NHL

Quebec police find body of ex-NHLer Martin

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The Canadian Press
12/2/2008 7:53:48 PM
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ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. - Quebec provincial police divers have recovered the body of former NHL star Hubert (Pit) Martin, who drowned after the snowmobile he was riding on plunged into an icy lake near his home.

Divers found the body early Tuesday afternoon, Quebec provincial police said.

Martin was a four-time NHL all-star in the 1960s and '70s.

Martin, 64, was driving the vehicle on Lake Kanasuta in northwestern Quebec on Sunday when the ice cracked and he plunged into the freezing water, police said.

Another man who was driving a separate snowmobile at the time has confirmed to police that Martin ended up in the water.

The diminutive but speedy Martin played 1,101 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, the Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, amassing 809 points from 1963 to 1979.

The five-foot-eight, 165-pound Martin was a strong skater and passer whose best years came on Chicago's MPH line with Jim Pappin and Bobby Hull. The Blackhawks had been planning to honour the line at the United Center this season.

He 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.

Martin was part of one of the biggest blockbuster trades in hockey history in 1967, when he, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris were shipped to Chicago in the deal that made Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield part of a Bruins dynasty.

Martin, part of a Rouyn-Noranda generation that also produced Dave Keon and Jacques Laperriere, began his NHL career with Detroit, but was traded to Boston in 1965 for forward Parker MacDonald after five seasons split between the Red Wings and their AHL farm club in Hamilton.

Pit Martin (Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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