The banners were dropped, the jerseys were revealed and the celebrations began at KeyBank Center as the Sabres kicked off their golden season with Fan Fest. Alumni ranging from the French Connection, to the ’99 team, and even some of the current players on hand today, reminiscing on their favorite memories with the Blue and Gold.
“The Stanley Cup,” said Hall of Famer and member of the French Connection Gilbert Perreault. “It’s gotta be the Stanley Cup. We had such a great team, and we had a good team for many years.”
“I always said the day that this city gets a franchise in the NHL, it’ll be one of the best in the league,” added René Robert. “Considering what they’ve gone through after 49 years now, not having won a championship, and coming close a few of times. The support that they keep getting from fans year in and year out is unbelievable.”
“I think it’s just important this year to come out and play the way they have in the past and play hard and try to make them proud,” said Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt. “I think obviously there’s some tradition here. The fans have always been great so just go out and try to make everyone proud and have a good year.”
“I think it adds some spice to the season,” said new head coach Ralph Krueger. “It adds a little something special. Putting on this shirt today just kind of had a special feel to it. To understand the responsibility that I have as a head coach in a season like this.”
“Anytime a milestone year comes along, I think you get a chance to sort of appreciate and learn a bit more about the history,” said Sabres forward Jeff Skinner. “It just shows how much the team means to the community and sort of looking back on the memories people have and how it’s impacted their lives.”