The Buffalo Sabres announced late Thursday night that Hall of Fame broadcaster Rick Jeanneret passed away at the age of 81. Jeanneret began his career with the franchise when it was just one year old, joining their broadcasting crew for the 1971-72 campaign and working for the team for 50 years. He retired after the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
Sabres owner Terry Pegula offered a statement on Jeanneret’s passing:
Rick was indeed a very special and very loved man, to and by all, who knew him and listened to him, his magic, and his command. How glad I am to have known him. How lucky were we all to have been around him and to have listened to him. [His] mark on Sabres history extends far beyond the broadcast booth and we will miss him dearly. I extend my deepest condolences to Sandra, Rick’s family, friends, and all that were loved by him.
His body of work with the Sabres made Jeanneret one of the most respected broadcasters in sports history, let alone just Buffalo or the NHL. The longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in league history, Jeanneret had a banner raised in the Sabres’ KeyBank Center at the end of the 2021-22 season, putting his name alongside the team’s retired numbers such as Gilbert Perreault, Pat LaFontaine, Dominik Hasek, and Ryan Miller.
General manager Kevyn Adams also spoke on Jeanneret’s legacy:
Growing up in Buffalo, Rick Jeanneret was not just the voice of the Sabres, he was the voice for our city. 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.
All of us at PHR also extend our utmost condolences to the Jeanneret family and join the hockey community in honoring one of the most legendary off-ice careers in the sport.