LOS ANGELES - Gilbert Perreault was one of five former Buffalo Sabres honored Friday night (along with Dominik Hasek, Tim Horton, Pat LaFontaine and Grant Fuhr) at the announcement of the 100 Greatest NHL Players as part of the League's centennial celebrations.
Sabres.com caught up with Perreault, the franchise's leading scorer, for his reaction to being recognized as one of the greatest players of all time.
Video: Gilbert Perreault centered "French Connection" line
How much did you enjoy being part of the NHL 100 event?
It was great. It's a great honor to be a part of this group. They did it first-class all the way. I really liked the way they went by decades - '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, 2000s. Really, it was a good setup.
It was great to see a lot of guys from the Canada Cup teams that I was a part of in '72, '76 and '81 and a few All-Star Games. It was nice to see them again. It brought back a lot of memories to see the guys. It was a lot of fun.
I came in the League in '70 so I watched players from the '50s and '60s [growing up]. Every Saturday night, we used to watch a hockey game on TV. I'm from Quebec, so for me, it was Canadian teams I was looking at.
[Jean] Beliveau and [Gordie] Howe and Rocket Richard, those guys were my idols. Beliveau was from Victoriaville so I was watching him a lot, his moves. He had a great vision for the game, his deking, everything.
What does it mean to have played your entire career with the Sabres?
Seventeen years with one team - you won't see too many players doing that. To me, Buffalo was great. It was a great city to play in, a great organization. I had a great time there and great memories. It was a lot of fun playing with Rene [Robert] and Rick [Martin] for many years. Mike Foligno, I played with him from '81 to '86.
They were all great players to play with. Too bad we didn't win, but we had some great years together.
There wasn't a Skills Competition at the All-Star Game when you played. Is there one event you think you'd excel at?
I don't even want to think about it! I'll be watching the Skills this afternoon and the Game tomorrow. I'm here with my son so we're going to enjoy the sun and the beauty of it.
All the players here are here because they have a lot of skill. I always look at the hands, you know? And how they put the puck in the net. It'll be great to watch.