Friday was supposed to be a truly impressive evening. Combined with the home opener for the Buffalo Sabres, the team would also unveil the centerpiece of the new alumni plaza with the French Connection Statue.
With the end of the lockout nowhere in sight, the home opener has been cancelled. But the statue unveiling will go through as planned and it should still serve as a wonderful way to honor three of the franchise’s greatest players.
From the very brief and obstructed view I got of the statue, it looks impressive. All three players are prominently featured and the layout should provide a unique view from just about any angle. Depending how the structure will be lit, I expect that the statue will be very impressive at night.
The next step will be identifying who else will join the French Connection in the plaza. Thanks to this week’s news, the next addition should be Dominik Hasek.
As Ted Black hinted at previously once Hasek retired, the Sabres would be retiring his number and honoring the franchise’s best goaltender. With the introduction of the alumni plaza, honoring Hasek is an obvious choice.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that Hasek’s future statue will end up behind the French Connection statue, deeper in the alumni plaza. I’ll also assume that Hasek’s statue will be in his typical stacked pads, glove save position. The picture above is the best example of that.
However, if this was to be a truly iconic statue, the Sabres would use Hasek making his most famous save. The sprawling blocker save against the Flyers. It was the most incredible save Hasek made and would make for an incredible statue.
This would be everything that a statute would want to capture. Not only would be immortalize the player, but it would do it in a way that Hasek became so famous; making ludicrous saves when he looked completely out of position.
The Sabres willingness to move forward with a project like this is really quite awesome. The potential for multiple statues of figures like the Knox Brothers, Hasek, Ted Darling, RJ and the other retired numbers could make this area near the arena a truly unique feature.
Friday’s unveiling will be a special event. It is unfortunate that there won’t be a hockey game played afterwords, but it will still be a great event for the organization. The day that Hasek’s statue is unveiled will be just as cool.