Sorry for the lapse in posting. My laptop went into the shop for a bit but I'm back, ready to continue on with more profiles of the great hockey radio voices that call our game. Please do check back and take a look at the past posts, as I have featured all of the radio voices of Hockey East, Ken Cail from the AHL, and several voices from the NHL. I'll continue on with looking at our next radio voice, the legendary voice of the Buffalo Sabres, Rick Jeanneret.
When you talk Buffalo Sabres hockey, the name you inevitably and invariably hear is Rick Jeanneret, the longtime voice of the Sabres since the 1971-72 season. Rick is the longest tenured radio broadcaster in the history of the National Hockey League, which is quite a feat in and of itself. Since the 1995-96 season he has moved over to televsion and does simulcasts of Sabres games. The Ontario native is as colorful and as passionate as they come. Rick has done Sabres games for every season of the club's existence except one- the Sabres initial season in 1970-71, as it was in that year that Ted Darling covered Buffalo games. He has been paired with former Sabres Jim Lorentz and Rob Ray (who is the current analyst), as well as Harry Neale of Hockey Night in Canada fame.
Rick's career got started in 1963 when he became the voice of the Niagara Falls Flyers, a Junior A level team. He did color and then play by play for the team beginning in 1965. He then moved on to the Buffalo Bisons in 1969-70, handling their road games. He also had a run as a DJ on a Niagara Falls radio station (CJRN radio, which no longer exists), from 1984-1992. He left the DJ job to concentrate solely on the call of Sabres hockey.
He was on the call for a fictional game called the " Sabres Showdown" back in 2001, in which the members of the 1974-75 Sabres team took on the 1998-99 squad at the old Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. (Both of those teams went to the Stanley Cup Finals). This game was simulated on the 2001 NHL video game. Gilbert Perreault scored the game winning goal.
Rick was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer but has since recovered and is currently cancer free.
Rick has been the recipient of many awards in his storied career, among them being inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on November 8, 2011; induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on June 6, 2012; receiving the Foster Hewitt award on June 12, 2012 for his excellence in broadcasting and service to the sport of hockey; and induction into the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame on September 20, 2012.
Here is an outstanding compendium of Rick's calls. If you are a hockey fan you will love these:
Rick can be heard alongside Rob Ray on WGR AM 550 in Buffalo on the call of Sabres games. WGR's website is located at http://www.wgr550.com/. You can also tune in Rick on Tune In radio for your smart phones and tablets.