Brain study finds damage in ex-Sabre Rick Martin

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BOSTON (AP) -- Researchers studying the brain of seven-time All-Star Rick Martin have found damage consistent with the trauma they found in other former NHL players.

The difference is Martin wasn't a fighter. He's the first non-enforcer who has been diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy by researchers at a Boston University brain bank.

Martin died of a heart attack at the age of 59 in March. All three former NHL players who have donated their brains for research so far have been diagnosed with CTE, a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated brain trauma.

Martin played 13 NHL seasons for the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. He scored 382 goals as part of the legendary "French Connection" line with Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert.