Many amazing hockey players have come from the Flin Flon area, including several National Hockey League players. Some may not have made the NHL, but they still had an impact on the hockey world.
One such individual was Ray Martynuik, nicknamed the “Can’t Miss Kid.”
Born in Flin Flon on March 28, 1950, Martynuik played for the Flin Flon Bombers where he earned the nickname that would stick with him for much of his life. His play was so stellar that he was handed the 1968-1969 and 1969-1970 Del Wilson Trophy, given to the Western Canada Hockey League’s (WCHL) best goalie. His play helped the Bombers win the President’s Cup both of those seasons.
Not surprisingly, he was chosen fifth overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL draft. At that time, it was the second-highest selection for a goalie in NHL history. Unfortunately, he never played in the league. A big reason for this may have been the Canadiens strength in goal with Ken Dryden and Rogie Vachon, both currently members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Martynuik would begin his minor league career at this point. He would first play for the Montreal Voyageurs of the American Hockey League. He played in 10 games then found his way to the Kansas City Blues and finished the season with the Seattle Totems of the old Western Hockey League.
In 1971, he tried out for the Canadiens again, but failed to make the team. He played that season with the Baltimore Clippers and Oklahoma City Blazers of the AHL and Central Hockey League.
The Canadiens traded his rights to the California Golden Seals, which assigned him to the International Hockey League team in Columbus. In 1972, the Calgary Broncos picked him in the 17th round of the World Hockey Association Player Draft, but he never signed with the team.
Continuing to play in Columbus in the 1972-73 season, he was sent to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles and was an all-star for the team. The Chicago Cougars of the WHA offered him a contract and he signed with the team, but the club folded before he played. He would go back to Salt Lake City and get called up to the NHL with the Golden Seals, but he never played with the team.
For the next few years, he played for teams in Springfield, Columbus and Tucson. In 1977, he joined the Cranbrook Royals of the Western International Hockey League. Apparently, after the team lost the championship, he had the bus driver stop their bus and he threw his equipment into a lake by the road.
He would retire after five games the next year with the Grand Rapid Owls.
After his career, Martynuik worked for Coca-Cola in Cranbrook and helped raise more than $600,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Canadian Cancer Society through charity golf tournaments.
Martynuik eventually moved to Panama where he remained until his death on Oct. 20, 2013.
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