In this article, I gave my reaction to the memorial service “Remembering RJ” that the Buffalo Sabres put together on Sunday.
It still doesn’t feel right. Rick Jeanneret has been gone for almost two weeks but it still doesn’t feel like it’s real. RJ meant so much to me and other Buffalo Sabres fans. His calls were legendary and he will forever be the voice of the Buffalo Sabres.
Yesterday, the Sabres held a memorial service for RJ in KeyBank Center and they called it, “Remembering RJ“. The event was ticketed but if you couldn’t make it to the ceremony, MSG was also livestreaming the service.
My reaction, it was absolutely amazing. It was everything I expected. Throughout the entire service, there was a blue spotlight shined on the Ted Darling Memorial pressbox where Rick would call games.
First and foremost, Brian Duff did an amazing job. From the opening and closing remarks, to the panels, he did an incredible job hosting. It was so cool to see past and current members of the Sabres organization.
There were a couple of moments that really stood out to me and both of them came from the panels. The first moment was from former Buffalo head coach and current New Jerseys Devils head coach Lindy Ruff.
Reaction to the Buffalo Sabres “Remembering RJ” Ceremony
Along with Duffer and Ruff, James Patrick and current Sabres head coach Don Granato were on the stage. Ruff said two things that stuck with me. He first gave compliments to Granato and said how he was doing a great job coaching the Sabres.
His next quote really is a thought every Sabres fan had. It was about how Ruff never gave RJ that one Stanley Cup call.
We all know Lindy was the coach when the Sabres had their best season in franchise history when they went on to win the President’s Trophy but unfortunately, Buffalo never brought the Cup to Buffalo and we can only hope the Sabres do win a Cup and just imagine what RJ would have said.
Then there’s the moment that stuck with me than any other words that were said. In another panel that consisted of Rip Simonick, Brad May, Dave Hannan and Danny Gare, Hannan said something that was truly powerful.
At the end of each discussion, Duff asked everyone the same question and he asked each person to describe RJ in one word. Obviously it’s hard to come up with just one word to describe a legendary figure like Rick but Hannan had the perfect answer.
“Buffalo”. That was his answer to the question and you know what, that was the perfect response. When you think of the Buffalo Sabres, you think of Rick Jeanneret. For 51 years, he was the reason why Sabres games were even more exciting.
To recap “Remembering RJ”, it was the perfect way to celebrate the life of a legend. He meant so much to players, coaches, training staffs, his co-workers and fans. From the tearful moments to the moments that made us laugh, it was perfect.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, it doesn’t feel real that he’s gone. Even though the man himself is gone, his voice will forever be in our minds and his legacy will never go away.