Sabres legend Gilbert Perreault sat with fellow alums a few feet from Terry Pegula when the new owner of the team broke down early in his press conference today recalling his memories of the 1975 Stanley Cup finalists. Like everyone else in the HSBC Arena atrium, it was a moment that caught No. 11 by surprise.
"I knew he was a hockey fan but I was kind of surprised. It was something," Perreault told me after the press conference. "He must have loved the way I was playing and loved our team.
"He's willing to spend a lot of money. This franchise has been here for 40 years and we're due for a Cup. It would be great. It takes a while to build a team. Right now, what the team needs I don't know. I watch them on TV once in a while and I'm sure Darcy Regier and Lindy [Ruff] know what to do."
Among the other prominent alumni joining Perreault in the atrium were Danny Gare, Larry Playfair, Derek Smith, former coach Joe Crozier and ex-players/current broadcasters Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray.
"It was pretty awesome," Gare said of Pegula's tribute to his old favorites. "He got so emotional too and it was one of the neatest things I've ever seen from an owner. Gilbert was shocked. I was sitting next to him and he was shocked. He was like, "Thank you, I appreciate that.' "