The end of an era is finally upon us. The retirement of Rick Jeanneret, hockey’s longest tenured broadcaster, has signaled the end of a long and storied career.
After fans are left wondering each year as RJ reduces his workload, the broadcaster has signed a three year deal with the team – being the Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer on a reduced role through the 2015-2016 season.
The capstone of Jeanneret’s career came last season, when he was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award – a given for a man who has dedicated his entire career to calling almost every minute of Buffalo Sabres action through 41 seasons.
Don’t fret too much though, if the Buffalo Sabres don’t win it all in the next three seasons for RJ to make that historic call announcing the Buffalo Sabres as Stanley Cup champions – he will remain with the team in an honorary capacity – no doubt being brought in for special events, and historic moments.
“This decision was obviously very difficult for me to make,” Jeanneret said. “It has become a yearly deliberation, deciding if the coming year would be my last or what season I would finally step away. I initially thought doing a full year of games this coming season and then retiring was the way to go. After discussing it with my family and with the Sabres, we all thought signing this new deal was the right choice. I get to continue to do what I love while slowly reducing my workload and eventually turning the reins over to Dan, who I greatly respect and believe Sabres fans will grow to love.”
What are your favorite Rick Jeanneret calls through the annals of Buffalo Sabres history? Here is just a few from years past: