Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall History Part 2: Ray Martyniuk

The Montreal Canadiens recieved the 5th overall pick this year, for the 8th time in their long and storied franchise. So for the summer months we are going to go over all the past 5th overall picks, from Bouchard to Reinbacher.
1992 Patrick Roy
1992 Patrick Roy / Steve Crandall/GettyImages
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Career After Montreal

First things first, is it Martyniuk or Martynuik? An article from the Montreal Gazette claims its spelled Martynuik:

"Canadiens GM Sam Pollock drafted Martynuik fifth overall that June from the Flin Flon Bombers. The goalie should have known he was on thin ice when every newspaper in town misspelled his name "Martyniuk.""

The Gazette

However, most places spell it Martyniuk, including this paper from his hometown of Cranbrook. Looking around online, it seems like a 50/50 split between Martyniuk and Martynuik, so it seems lost to time.

Martyniuk had an extensive career in the minor leagues, playing for the Montreal Voyageurs, Baltimore Clippers, Springfield Kings, Kansas City Blues, Oklahoma City Blazers, Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Tucson Mavericks, Columbus Golden Seals, Columbus Owls, Grand Rapids Owls and the Seattle Totems, bouncing between the AHL, CHL, IHL and WHL.

Martyniuk did have a few close calls to making it to the NHL. As a member of the Salt Lake City Golden Eagles, Martyniuk was called up to the California Golden Seals, but never played a game.

Jim Neilson
Bruce Bennett Collection / Robert Shaver/Bruce Bennett Collection/GettyImages

But the biggest story of Ray Martyniuk's career was when he was playing with the Cranbrook Royals at the end of his career. The Royals went onto the Western International Hockey League's (WIHL) championship final, only to lose on the road.

It was apparent that the loss was rough on Martyniuk, who asked the bus driver to stop on the banks of picturesque Moyie Lake in South British Columbia, and proceeded to toss his equipment in the lake. And that was about it for the hockey playing career for Ray Martyniuk, laying at the bottom of a kettle lake.

And that brings us to the end of part 3. Next time, we will be looking at the next Montreal Canadiens draft pick: Cam Connor.