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Sabres to honor French Connection with statue at First Niagara Center

French Connection

On Oct. 12, the Buffalo Sabres will unveil a tribute to the most storied trio in franchise history.

The French Connection -- comprised of center Gilbert Perreault, left wing Rick Martin and right wing Rene Robert -- combined for 18 all-star games while playing in Buffalo from 1972-79, forming one of the most elite scoring lines in league history.

Now, they’re getting their own statue.

From the Sabres website:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced plans to honor the team’s renowned French Connection, one of hockey’s all-time greatest forward lines, with a statue outside of First Niagara Center.

The statue will be part of a larger ‘Alumni Plaza,’ which is in the planning stages and will be set in the plaza directly outside of the arena. A special unveiling of the statue will take place on Oct. 12 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the French Connection first playing together in 1972.

“History has always been an extremely important facet of our organization’s philosophy,” said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. “We hope this statue and the surrounding ‘Alumni Plaza’ will serve as a proper tribute to all the great players who have made this franchise what it is today, while also serving as an inspiration to future Sabres fans and players that will keep us a strong and successful team for years to come.”


-- The statue will be designed and constructed by Jerry McKenna, who has done 17 portrait busts for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also won the 2003 Sports Sculptor of the Year award, which apparently is a thing.

-- The Alumni Plaza will have a new statue every year honoring a member of the Sabres organization. Also, it will contain five brick columns that will have a plaque for every player who has played for Buffalo.

(Image Courtesy Ron Moscati, Buffalo Sabres)