Richard Martin Memorial

March 24, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM EDT

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March 24, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Rick Martin was one of the most beloved members of the Buffalo Sabres. As a member of the legendary "French Connection," he helped build the franchise with teammates Rene Robert and Gilbert Perreault. After his hockey career, Martin remained in Western New York, and became active in hundreds of community events.

On Sunday March 13, 2011 Martin tragically died after suffering a heart attack while driving his car in Clarence, which resulted in a crash. Rick Martin left behind a wife, children, and legions of fans.

The HSBC Arena hosted several thousand people Thursday with those who knew and loved him for a tribute service. Highlights of the event included speeches from Martin's son Corey, and former French Connection partners Rene Robert and Gilbert Perreault.

Channel 7's AM/Buffalo kicked off coverage at 10a.m. with a special interview with members of Martin's family.

Channel 7's Eyewitness News will have complete coverage.