Well, there may not be a home opener to go to at FNC but at least there's something new to see at the arena the day before:
A 7-foot-tall statue of the French Connection will be erected outside the Sabres' arena Oct. 12. One of the players to be immortalized has made a request.
"Its a great honor to have our statue in front," Gilbert Perreault said today. "Just make sure that youre going to keep our beautiful faces clean over the years."
Perreault joined former linemate Rene Robert at First Niagara Center for a luncheon and news conference previewing the unveiling. In addition to the statue, there will be plaques placed on bricks with the name of every player who wore Blue and Gold, including the late Richard Martin, the third member of Buffalo's legendary line.
I was reading about this after seeing a link on the homepage of ESPN.com and glancing through it I just found out the picture that the statue was based upon was taken by my uncle. Called my dad and sure enough he took it in 75. And that's my useless bit of information for the day. Love the idea of the statue and Pegula's strong ties with the alumni.
Just cruising thru the boards looking for some positive word on the lockout and came across this thread. It brought a tear to my eye and a shiver to my spine.......
I'm around Terry's age and have the same sentimental memories of the French Connection. Every time Perreault got ahold of the puck you would hold your breath, move to the edge of your seat (or stand) to see what magic he would produce by his rushing headlong at full speed thru the other team.
And then he'd dish it off to Rico for the slapper from the top of the left circle or pass from behind the goal line to Robert coming in off the far post for a wrister.
"GOAL scored by number 7 Reechaaard Mar....taan!! Assists from Rrrrene Rrrrooobear and Gzeelbear Pear ohhh!"
It worked because Bert mesmorized everyone in the building with his speed, moves and puckhandling such that they completely forgot about his linemates.
Damn, that was fun and exciting hockey!!
Thanks Terry, I can think of no better tribute to Sabre hockey's beginnings. A great honor given to the guys who made WNY embrace the Sabre and the NHL.
(But lest we forget, Buffalo always was a solid hockey town even before the Coming of the Blade!)