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An Iconic Voice(Rick Jeanneret) Silenced, But Never Forgotten
The hockey world is in mourning as the Buffalo Sabres announce the passing of their legendary play-by-play announcer, Rick Jeanneret, affectionately known as RJ. At the age of 81, Jeanneret’s vibrant voice and unparalleled humor have left an indelible mark on the sport and the hearts of fans worldwide. The announcement of his death came from his family, who shared that he peacefully left this world after a courageous two-year struggle with multi-organ failures.
A Life Celebrated: A Legacy Beyond the Booth
Rick Jeanneret’s impact stretched far beyond the rink. With a career spanning over five decades, he became an institution for hockey enthusiasts. The Sabres’ General Manager, Kevyn Adams, fondly recalled, “Rick was an incredible man that was loved by all. His wit and humor was unmatched and we are all lucky to have known him.” It’s not just the sport that mourns; it’s a city, a community, and a family that have lost an irreplaceable member.
A Trailblazing Journey Through the Airwaves
Rick Jeanneret journey with the Buffalo Sabres began in 1971 when he first graced the radio waves with his unmistakable voice. His dedication to the team and his unwavering passion for the game led him to become the longest-serving play-by-play broadcaster in the history of the National Hockey League. In 1995, he seamlessly transitioned to TV broadcasts, ensuring fans never missed a beat of the action.
From Calls to Chronicles: A Hall of Fame Career
Notably, Rick Jeanneret legacy was not confined to the announcer’s booth. He was honored with numerous accolades, including the prestigious Foster Hewitt Award in 2012, the highest recognition a hockey broadcaster can receive. His name is etched in the annals of the Sabres Hall of Fame, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Township of Terrace Bay, Ontario’s Sports Wall of Fame.
Remembering the Man Behind the Mic
Terry Pegula, owner of the Sabres, spoke emotionally about Jeanneret, describing him as “a very special and a very loved man.” His impact transcended the broadcast booth, leaving an everlasting legacy on the franchise and the Buffalo community as a whole.
Quips and Quotes: Rick Jeanneret Unforgettable Calls
Rick Jeanneret charismatic commentary became synonymous with the thrill of the game. Who could forget his signature line, “Top shelf, where mama hides the cookies,” celebrating a perfectly placed puck in the net? His exclamation of “May Day! May Day!” during Brad May’s pivotal goal in the 1993 playoffs against the Boston Bruins still sends chills down fans’ spines.
A Voice that Echoes Through Time
Rick Jeanneret resonant voice was not just the “voice of the Sabres,” but a voice that embodied the spirit of an entire city. His passion for hockey kindled flames of enthusiasm in countless hearts, not least that of Kevyn Adams, who aptly summarized, “He wasn’t just the voice for our Sabres; he was the voice for our city.”
In a world that thrives on fleeting moments, Rick Jeanneret’s legacy stands as a testament to the enduring power of laughter, love, and a shared love for the game. While his voice may have fallen silent, the echoes of his calls will forever reverberate in the hearts of hockey fans everywhere.