Gilbert Perreault (born November 13, 1950) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey centre who played for 17 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League. He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990. Known for his ability to stickhandle in close quarters, he is regarded as one of the most skillful play-making centres of all time. He is the original Buffalo Sabre because he was drafted first by the team in their inaugural season in the NHL. He is well known as the centre man for the prolific trio of Sabres forwards known as The French Connection.
Perreault was a standout junior hockey player who went on to become a nine-time NHL ALL-Star, two-time official NHL All-Star Team (second team centre) selection, a Calder Trophy winner, a Lady Byng Trophy winner and a Hockey Hall of Famer. He played his entire 17 year career with the Buffalo Sabres and continues to be the all-time franchise leader in career regular season games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals, and shots on goal, serving as the team's captain from 1981 until his initial retirement in November 1986. He led the team to 11 consecutive playoff appearances ending with the 1984–85 season.
Over the course of his 17 season career he accumulated 512 goals and 814 assists in 1191 games. Among his career highlights was the game-winning goal in overtime of the 1978 National Hockey League All-Star Game played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Perreault once totaled seven points in a single game which remains a Sabres record. He also recorded the first power play goal and the first hat trick in the team's history. He is the only Buffalo Sabre to wear number 11, with the number being retired in his honor.
By Dean Hanley
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