(Born November 13, 1950) -- There’s little doubt who the face of the Buffalo Sabres’ franchise was and is. Gil Perreault will have that distinction for a long time to come.
Perreault was born in Quebec, where he also played junior hockey. The center was a standout for the Montreal Junior Canadiens. In his last year there in 1969-70, Perreault had 121 points in 54 games.
There was no doubt who the best player in the 1970 Entry Draft was. The question was, who would get to pick him? The Sabres won a famous spin of the wheel against Vancouver and thus earned the chance to have Perreault suit up in a Buffalo uniform.
He stayed through the fall of 1986 season. He scored 512 goals and never played for another team in his brilliant career. More importantly, Perreault played with a rare flair that made him one of the most exciting players to watch in hockey history.
Perreault has done some work for the Sabres and their alumni over the years. And now there’s a statue of him right outside the Sabres’ home on the patio of the First Niagara Center.
--- Budd Bailey