Fans Remember Rick Martin

March 24, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

...
March 24, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM EDT


(Buffalo, N.Y.) They came from all over Western New York and Canada. Thousands of fans - all heading into the HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo.

They were invited by the Buffalo Sabres and the family of Rick Martin to take part in a public memorial.

Many fans showed up wearing hockey jerseys with the number 7. Rick Martin wore number 7 when he played left wing for the Sabres from 1971 to 1981.

Speakers reminded the audience that it was a celebration of Rick Martin's life and his love of laughter.

Two members from the famed "French Connection" line, Rene Robert and Gilbert Perreault, had the crowd roaring with laughter after Rene Robert pulled out a beer can and a cigar to honor their friend Rick Martin.

59-year old Rick Martin died on March 13th after suffering an apparent heart attack and crashing his car.