Niagara Gazette


December 22, 2011

Former Sabre Gilbert Perreault meets fans at Holiday Market appearance

NIAGARA FALLS — For Gilbert Perreault, the Buffalo Sabres’ most prestigious alumnus and the organization’s first-ever draft pick as a franchise, trips to Buffalo are all about the fans.

The hockey legend, who lives in his native Quebec, Canada, visited the Niagara Holiday Market on Wednesday to sign autographs for the fans who lined up outside the BlueCross BlueShield ice rink to meet him.

“It’s great to see the fans,” Perreault said. “Most of the time, there’s lots of fans who show up. It’s nice to talk to the fans, because they still remember you. They remain faithful even after all these years.”

Fans like Randell Peddicord Sr. and his son, Randell Peddicord Jr., both of Niagara Falls. The pair showed up to the event at 4:15 p.m. to get an autograph and a picture with Perreault, even though the event started at 6 p.m.

But the pair’s early arrival stems from a memory of the hockey star from the father’s childhood.

“When I was 14 or 15, I went to (an appearance) by him,” Randell Peddicord Sr. said. “I waited in line, waited in line and when I was about 10 or so people from the front, he left. So I said ‘We’re not missing this this time.’ ”

Most of the fans gathered at the event had some story about the Sabres star, or the team in general. Mario Colucci, of Lewiston, brought half of an orange seat from the Memorial Auditorium.

“It’s a piece of history,” he said, clutching the seat cushion portion of a seat from the upper bowl of the former home of the Sabres. “Someone I knew actually took this for me, and I want to have it signed.”

He said he’s had the seat cushion mounted on his wall for years. But people he’s met who aren’t from Western New York wouldn’t know what it was, he said. He’s hoping Perreault’s signature helps change it.

Others simply showed up because they wanted to. Joe Harris, of Buffalo, simply wanted to give some autographs as Christmas presents, while his friend, Mike Chismar, of Niagara Falls, just wanted to have something signed by a guy who played on the French Connection line, which Perreault centered between wingers Rene Robert and Richard Martin in the 70s.

The French Connection also brought Connie Brown and her son, Connor Brown, to the signing as well. Connie said the family bought a hockey puck signed by Martin before he passed away in February, with the hopes of Perreault’s signature bringing them one step closer to the entire line.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get Rene Robert at some point,” she said. “But it’s nice to see the generations here. Some of these people weren’t alive when the French Connection played, yet they’re here.”

Key Bank, which recently opened a new branch location at 2407 Pine Ave., sponsored the autograph signing.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hagar 072914  1 SLIDESHOW: Sammy Hagar rocks Artpark Tuesday night

    Sammy Hagar brought his “A Journey Through the History of Rock” tour to Lewiston Tuesday, and it was both a fruitful journey and solid history lesson.

    July 30, 2014 14 Photos

  • SUN LIFE tattoo 3 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Photobomb art 1 072814 Photobombed — Grand Island woman gains internet fame for her momentary star power

    A Grand Island native has become an accidental superstar for photobombing Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss. On Monday, Kara Dudley, 22, had followed Taylor Swift into a SoHo clothing store hoping to catch a glimpse of the pop princess. Shortly after Dudley walked in Swift left, walking right past her.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Fire ceremony art 4 072714 Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 celebrates 100 years with a new addition During the Lewiston Fire Company No. 1's dedication ceremony on Saturday, worn, digitally transferred film ran on an electronic projector in the hall's clubhouse as the abundant guests ate and drank. The images were of celebrations long passed, bygone firefighters at bat taking strikes in a pick-up game and misty plumes dancing against the skeletons of burnt-out structures.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Lewiston K9 art 072714 New police K9 coming on board in Lewiston The Lewiston Police Department has announced it has acquired a new K9 for Officer Scott Stafford -- and that it needs a little help from the community.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA LaSalle reunion art 072514 LaSalle classes to meet again for Hyde Park golf outing Perhaps it's because their building was demolished, leaving no physical evidence of their high school years that LaSalle High School grads are so true to their school. That's what Joel Holka thinks, anyway.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Equistar art 072514 Equi*Star celebrating 20th anniversary on Sunday The Equi*Star riding center in Burt will host an open house this Sunday in celebration of twenty years of providing therapeutic riding services.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hibbards anniversary art 1 072414 Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard celebrates 75 years in Lewiston When Jim Hibbard first heard the term "frozen custard," he thought somebody had put pudding in the freezer. "I thought it was like cooked custard when I first heard about it," he said recently, as he and his employees prepared to celebrate his business's 75th birthday this weekend.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • NAD Artpark review art 072414 A warm welcome back for Aretha Franklin at Artpark

    The Queen of Soul returned to her Western New York roots Tuesday night in what has in recent years become an annual pilgrimage. Aretha Franklin spent a good part of her youth in Buffalo and even told the Artpark crowd she loved the name Tonawanda so much when she was a child that she told people she wanted to live there when she grew up.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Aretha Franklin 1 072314 SLIDESHOW: Aretha Franklin performs at Artpark Aretha Franklin performed Tuesday night at Artpark.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page