Although residents of Buffalo are proud of their city being one of America’s big hockey towns, it’s still rare to see visitors at an art gallery dressed in any kind of hockey apparel.
But from November of 2010 through early January 2011, that became a regular sight at the Albright Knox Art Gallery on Elmwood Avenue as it hosted Forty: The Sabres in the NHL, an exhibit which celebrated the Buffalo Sabres franchise’s 40th anniversary.
From November 7th of last year to January 9th of 2011, hockey fans were able to see to a magnificent showcase of the rich history behind the Buffalo Sabres, which has now spanned four decades with this current season under way. Over 200 incredible images taken by famed photographers Ron Moscati, Robert Shaver, and Bill Wippert were on display throughout multiple halls of the Gallery’s second floor.
There were more than enough photos that could take a life-long fan way down memory lane, featuring plenty of the “French Connection” -Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault, and Rene Robert- as well as other fan favorites of the early days including Danny Gare, Don Luce and Roger Crozier.
There was even one particularly interesting headshot of a young Lindy Ruff, sans-moustache, which had many younger fans bewildered at first glance.
“The exhibit took me down memory lane and gave me goosebumps,” said Josiah LeRoy of Cheektowaga, “Seeing the French Connection in action, Rob Ray punch the life out of an enforcer’s face, and The Dominator [Dominik Hasek] use his slinky-like spine were just a few of the highlights.”
For all of the pictures taken amongst the yellow seats of the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, the exhibit was more than able to captivate fans born in the 90s and 2000s. Few could suppress a chuckle at the sight of Rob Ray ready to challenge the entire Philadelphia Flyers bench after a fight, or Martin Biron squaring off with Ray Emery during the infamous brawl with the Ottawa Senators, and even fewer could help but smile warmly after seeing shots of the Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
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