Friday, August 21, 2015

Ray Martynuik

1 NHL Game

October 8, 1971 California Golden Seals vs Los Angeles Kings. 4-4 tie.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Poulin

   Ray Martynuik was a junior sensation in Manitoba with the Flin Flon Bombers. He won the WCHL Top Goaltender Award and was a First Team All-Star two years in a row, 1968/69 and 1969/70. In 1970 he was selected 5th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Hockey Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman spoke very highly of Martynuik. "This kid could turn out to be the best player drafted today. He's the closest thing to Jacques Plante I've seen anywhere with great style and reflexes."(1) Martynuik attended the 1970 and 1971 Montreal Canadiens training camps but the net was crowded with future NHLers. Other goalies vying for Montreal's net included Ken Dryden, Rogie Vachon, Phil Myre and Michel Plasse. 

  June 9, 1971 the Montreal Canadiens, disappointed with Martynuik's development, shipped him to the California Golden Seals for future considerations, later determined to be Tony Featherstone. The Golden Seals had planned on starting the season with Gerry Desjardins between the pipes. They traded their 1970/71 starter, Gary Smith, to the Hawks in order to obtain Desjardins. Unfortunately for the Seals, Desjardins had broken his arm the year before and it had not healed properly. He was unable to dress for the Golden Seals. It wouldn't be until October 18, 1971 that Chicago righted the wrong and accepted Desjardins back in a trade that saw Gilles Meloche end up in California. Before Meloche landed in California, the Golden Seals were left with a void in net to start the season. October 8, 1971 the California Golden Seals opened the 1971/72 season with two rookie goalies, Gary Kurt and Ray Martynuik along with Marv Edwards, on loan from Toronto and not eligible to start for the team. They soon finalized a deal to acquire experienced netminder Lyle Carter from the Montreal Canadiens but Carter wasn't able to join the team on time for their season opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Martynuik dressed as a backup goalie to Gary Kurt. There are even newspaper articles that indicate Martynuik was scheduled to start in net, but Kurt ended up playing. October 9, 1971 Carter arrived in town and Martyniuk was reassigned to the Baltimore Clippers. 

   Martynuik spent a number of seasons playing for California's farm teams. In 1975 he was named a Central League All-Star and Top Goaltender as the Golden Eagles claimed the 1975 CHL Adam Cup as league champs. The WHA's Chicago Cougars took notice and signed him to a lucrative $100,000 contract with a $50,000 signing bonus. The team folded before he ever dressed with the club or receive a pay check. He had to settle for a mere $30,000 CHL contract. In 1977 he attended the Cleveland Barons training camp and played a couple NHL preseason games for the club. 

   In 1987 Martynuik founded an annual charity golf tournament that was held until 2011. He helped raise over $600,000 for various causes. He passed away in 2013 and spent the last couple years of his life living happily in Panama City. 

Career stats from
Born Mar 28 1950 -- Flin Flon, MAN 
Height 5.10 -- Weight 165
Drafted by Montreal Canadiens - round 1 #5 overall 1970 NHL Amateur Draft
RS ScoringRS Goalie StatsPO Scoring
1967-68Flin Flon BombersWCJHL61014012.331500.915
1968-69Flin Flon BombersWCHL41014108062.5210950.910
1969-70Flin Flon BombersWCHL0212
1970-71Seattle TotemsWHL2720154590003.49---
1970-71Kansas City BluesCHL91054038004.22---
1970-71Montreal VoyageursAHL101053337004.16---
1971-72Baltimore ClippersAHL60236022013.66---
1971-72Columbus Golden SealsIHL0220000.00---
1971-72Oklahoma City BlazersCHL300899006.08---
1972-73Columbus Golden SealsIHL393122206173004.70---
1972-73Springfield KingsAHL2001209004.50---
1972-73Salt Lake Golden EaglesWHL60036026004.331411790.873---
1973-74Columbus OwlsIHL574483350154042.766010
1973-74Salt Lake Golden EaglesWHL200825003.64010360.878---
1974-75Salt Lake Golden EaglesCHL53443037150132.96311561010
1975-76Tucson MavericksCHL22124---
1975-76Salt Lake Golden EaglesCHL1200---
1976-77Salt Lake Golden EaglesCHL361142079117113.38161437940.872---
1977-78Cranbrook RoyalsWIHL3000
1978-79Grand Rapids OwlsIHL50030032005.33302

Oct. 8, 1971 article about the season opener

(1) Montreal Gazette. June 12, 1970. 

No comments:

Post a Comment