Today is July 11, 2014. 7.11.14. Now while today may be known as the day LeBron James announced that he’s returning to Cleveland to once again play for the Cavaliers, or the day 7-Eleven stores gave away free Slurpees, in the hockey world, more specifically, Buffalo, it’s a day to celebrate The French Connection. The line of Rick Martin, Rene Robert, and Gilbert Perreault was one of the most formidable lines in the NHL in the 1970s. All three of them grew up in Quebec (Verdun, Trois-Rivières, and Victoriaville respectively), and in the early Sabres days, helped build the team to what it is today. In the seven seasons The French Connection played, the Sabres only missed the playoffs once (1974), and in 1975, helped the Sabres to a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, where in Game 3, they connected in the game-winning overtime goal amidst the fog in The Aud. In 1990, Perreault was the first Sabre to have his number retired. In 1995, the final season the Sabres played at The Aud, Perreault’s French Connection linemates joined him up in the rafters. They set the standard of what Buffalo Sabres hockey is all about. You can even feel their impact before you enter First Niagara Center as there is a statue of them located in Alumni Plaza. So while 7.11.14 might just be another Friday on the calendar, 7.11.14 is a day to remember the cornerstone of NHL hockey in Western New York.