Seth Martin - Born May 4, 1933 in Rossland, British Columbia – Died September 6, 2014 in Trail, British Columbia was a Canadian ice Hockey goaltender and coach.
Martin played minor Hockey in his hometown of Rossland before joining the Junior A Lethbridge Native Sons in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League / WCJHL in 1949.
Martin returned to British Columbia after his junior career ended, joining the Trail Smoke Eaters of Western International Hockey League / WCHL.
Martin would play in the B.C. Kootenays for many seasons, mostly with the Smoke Eaters, but also playing for the Rossland Warriors, Kimberley Dynamiters, Nelson Maple Leafs and Spokane Warriors. He was named the league’s top goalkeeper nine times.
Martin backstopped the famous 1961 world champion Trail Smoke Eaters and also the 1962 Smoke Eaters and 1970 Spokane Jets to the Allan Cup championship. Spokane would become the 1st USA team to win the Allan Cup.
Martin represented Canada at 4 IIHF World Championships and the 1964 Winter Olympics. He was named the Best Goaltender at the 4 World Championships in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1966. He was also voted Best Goaltender at the 1964 Winter Olympics.
Martin had several offers to play in the NHL but none bettered the security he had with his job at Cominco in Trail. However in 1967 at age 34 after fifteen years as one of the world’s best amateurs, Martin accepted an offer from the NHL’s St. Louis Blues for whom he shared duties with the great Glenn Hall. In thirty games Martin recorded a 2.59 goals average and 1 shutout on Christmas Day, 1967 vs the Minnesota North Stars. He also played in 2 playoff games (the year the Blues reached the Stanley Cup final). Martin came to a tough decision after the season. It would be 210 games to get to an NHL pension. He’d already been a firefighter at the Cominco plant in Trail and had 12 years invested into that pension plan. He went back to Trail and served another 24 years.
Martin had become a player/coach with the Rossland Warriors during the 1965-66 season, and later became a head coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters (1968) and the Spokane Jets, leading them to the 1972 Allan Cup championship.
Martin had made his own face mask, along with several others, sending 2 of them to Czechoslovakia and 1 to the Soviet Union (Russia). He was known as the 1st goalie in international play to wear a goalie mask. When he played in St. Louis for that 1 NHL season, Glenn Hall, whom he shared the goaltending duties with, asked him to make a mask for him, which Martin did in the St. Louis Blues’ arena’s maintenance shop.
Vladislav Tretiak, the great Russian goalie wrote in his autobiography “I had also found a hero in Hockey, a Canadian goaltender named Seth Martin,”
Seth Martin was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997 (charter member)
Seth Martin was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.
- IIHF World Ice Hockey Champion / Team Canada 1961.
- Allan Cup Champion 1962, 1970 and 1972 (coach).
- Savage Cup Champion 1960, 1962, 1970 and 1972.
- Patton Cup Champion 1960, 1962, 1970 and 1972.