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Sabres Canadian Broadcaster Rick Jeanneret Dies At 81

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Rick Jeanneret, who had been the Buffalo Sabres’ announcer for 50 years, passed away on Thursday. He was 81.

“Growing up in Buffalo, Rick Jeanneret was not just the voice of the Sabres, he was the voice for our city,” Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams said. “He helped foster my love of hockey, along with so many others. Beyond the booth, 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.

“I am heartbroken by his passing and send my condolences to his wife, Sandra, and all of his family and friends. May he rest in peace.”

On October 10, 1971, Jeanneret, who was simply known as “RJ,” called his first Sabres game on the radio before switching to television in 1995. When he called his final game on April 29, 2022, he would have served as the NHL’s longest-serving play-by-play announcer. In 2012, he was honored with the Foster Hewitt Award and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

He is equally a member 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.

“Rick Jeanneret’s unmistakable voice was the signature sound of Buffalo Sabres hockey for half a century,” the NHL said in a statement. “He brought the essence of our game into the homes of Western New Yorkers with passion and excitement and a remarkable flair for capturing the moment.

The National Hockey League is saddened by his passing and sends its condolences to his wife, Sandra, the entire Jeanneret family, and the countless Sabres fans whose love of the game was enhanced by listening to this legendary broadcaster.”

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