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Sabres’ French Connection to be honored with statue outside FNC

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

The Buffalo Sabres organization announced plans to construct a statue of the French Connection—the legendary forward line of Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and the late Rick Martin—in the plaza in front of the First Niagara Center.

According to the team’s press release, the statue will be debuted Oct. 12 as part of a larger “Alumni Plaza” area, for which plans are still being hashed out.

“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 10’ tall bronze statue will be inspired by a 1975 photo taken of the forward trio by Ron Moscati, whose Sabres photos were on display during the Albright Knox’s Forty: Sabres in the NHL exhibit that ran in 2010. Surprisingly, there are few shots with Perreault, Robert and Martin all involved at once, and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula latched onto Moscati’s shot from a playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens. WGR includes the photo here.

Here’s another photo by Moscati of the French Connection in action vs. Montreal two years prior (It’s probably much more difficult to craft a statue like this photograph):

Sculptor Jerry McKenna has been commissioned by the organization to create the artwork. You can visit his website to see previous sculpture work here—most of his work revolves around “God, country and Notre Dame,” according to the webpage.

TAGGED: buffalo sabres, first niagara center, french connection, gilbert perreault, rene robert, rick martin, sabres hockey

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