Buffalo - February 7, 2013
If you’re a baseball fan (or a fan of baseball caps in general) and you’re passing through Buffalo, make sure to pay a visit to New Era’s flagship store located in the old Federal Reserve Building in the city’s downtown core. The official on-field cap manufacturer for MLB, the NFL and many others, the store has hats emblazoned with almost every vintage and current sports logo imaginable, including the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Expos.
We’re not sure if it was because it was a Habs-Sabres game day when we stopped in, or if the store was just sold out, but amongst the hundreds of caps in stock, we couldn't find one that featured a Canadiens logo anywhere. We choose to assume this was done at the direct request of the Buffalo Sabres. Beyond sporting merch, a section of the store also features caps with superhero, cartoon and a slew of other pop culture themes.
All the caps they carry may be fitted, but rest assured that if they’re out of your size or you just happen to have an abnormally shaped melon, New Era has a machine in the back of the store that stretches and modifies their caps to fit any paying customer’s cranium.
Who doesn’t remember the “French Connection” line composed of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Roberts who lit things up for the Sabres during the 70s? In Buffalo, they’ve pretty much managed to guarantee they’ll never be forgotten by dedicating a statue to them outside of the arena. Combine that with the t-shirt on display in their team store, with actual French text, billing the line as “La Connexion Francaise” and it’s clear just how fondly the three players are still remembered by Sabres fans today, despite never having won a Cup with the Sabres.