NHL

René Robert of Sabres' renowned 'French Connection' hospitalized after heart attack

René Robert, a retired winger who played on the Buffalo Sabres' famed French Connection Line in the 1970s, was in a Florida hospital on Friday after suffering a heart attack, three people familiar with what happened told The Associated Press.

Florida resident remains active in charitable endeavours in Buffalo

Retired Sabres forward René Robert, left, reportedly is in a Florida hospital after suffering a heart attack. The 72-year-old scored a career-high 40 goals twice during his seven-plus seasons in Buffalo. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images/File)

René Robert, a retired winger who played on the Buffalo Sabres' famed French Connection Line in the 1970s, was in a Florida hospital on Friday after suffering a heart attack, three people familiar with what happened told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because members of Robert's family had requested privacy.

The 72-year-old Robert has a home in Florida but maintains numerous ties to Buffalo, where he remains active in charitable endeavours.

Acquired by the Sabres in a trade that sent Eddie Shack to Pittsburgh in 1972, Robert went on to round out one of the most productive lines in NHL history. Robert played the right side alongside left-winger Rick Martin and Hockey Hall of Fame centre Gilbert Perreault on a line that earned its nickname because all three players were from Quebec.

Robert scored a career-high 40 goals twice during his seven-plus seasons in Buffalo.

He was traded to the then-Colorado Rockies in 1979 and closed his career with Toronto in 1981-82.

In 524 games with Buffalo, Robert had 222 goals and 552 points. Overall, he finished with 284 goals and 702 points in 744 NHL games.

Robert returned to live in Buffalo after he retired and eventually had his driveway built out of pieces of Memorial Auditorium after the Sabres' former home was demolished in 2009.

The Sabres have memorialized the French Connection by erecting a statue of the three players that stands in a plaza outside their arena. Their numbers have also been retired, and their names hang together from the rafters in the arena.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now