New Worries About Hockey Head Trauma

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 7:19 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 7:19 AM EDT

(Buffalo, N.Y.) News that Sabres legend Rick Martin suffered brain injuries, has many people taking a closer look at what can be done to make hockey safer.

Rick Martin played 11 seasons in the NHL.

He is best remembered for being part of the Sabres French Connection line in the 1970's.

Martin died this past March after suffering a heart attack and crashing his car.

After Martin's family donated his brain to science, researchers at Boston University discovered an alarming fact - Rick Martin's had developed a degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.

CTE is caused by repetitive impacts to the head.

The findings surprised many people because Rick Martin was not known as a fighting hockey player and only suffered one known concussion.

The Martin family released the diagnosis to help raise awareness of protecting athletes who play contact sports.

At the Great Skate Hockey Supply Company in Buffalo, families are buying equipment for a new season.

Store manager Eric Neilson says that helmets, face guards, and mouth guards play an important part in preventing concussions, but only if they are worn properly.