Rick Martin was one of several young Canadian
stars included in the inaugural Team Canada. Also on the team was his Buffalo
Sabres' French Connection linemate Gilbert Perreault
Because the series was far tighter than expected,
most of the young players didn't get much ice time. Martin in fact got into 0
games against the Soviets.
Sabres' boss Punch Imlach pressured Martin and
Perreault to come back early since they were not being used, and they complied.
While they had the blessing of Team Canada and the respect of their Team Canada
teammates, there was a controversy in the media about the desertion.
Nonetheless, Martin and the others have no regrets and no ill feelings towards
Martin was actually one of the few Canadian
forwards who showed up at training camp in exceptional shape. Back in the old
days players, especially established players, didn't work out in the summer time
as hard as NHLers today must. They used training camp to work themselves into
shape. But Martin was just 20 at the time and prepared himself in the summer
While Martin wishes he could have gotten into at
least one Summit Series game, he holds no regrets and is a proud member of Team