Remembering Rick Jeanneret: The Legendary Voice of the Sabres
Rick Jeanneret, the iconic voice that resonated with Buffalo Sabres fans for over five decades, has left us at the age of 81. The Sabres shared a heartfelt statement from Jeanneret’s family, revealing that he peacefully passed away, surrounded by his loved ones, after a valiant two-year battle against multi-organ failure. His legacy will remain etched in our hearts forever.
A Hall of Famer and an extraordinary sports broadcaster, Jeanneret’s impact on the Western New York (WNY) community was profound. Fondly remembered for his unforgettable on-ice calls, he brought an unparalleled passion and energy to his commentary, creating moments that were more than just plays – they were experiences.
Unforgettable On-Ice Calls
Rick Jeanneret’s voice wasn’t just a broadcast; it was a vivid experience. His iconic phrases like “top shelf where mama hides the cookies” and “may day! may day! may day!” became an integral part of Sabres culture. His enthusiasm was infectious, elevating the excitement of the game for fans.
Listening to Jeanneret’s commentary during a Sabres goal or a crucial play was like an adrenaline rush, punctuated by his signature exclamations such as “Holy Mackerel” and “call a cop he robbed him blind!” The spontaneity and passion behind these phrases reflected his deep connection with the team and the sport.
A Legacy of Excellence
Rick Jeanneret’s illustrious 51-year broadcasting career garnered recognition not only from the Sabres but also from the Hockey Hall of Fame. His dedication and outstanding contributions earned him a plethora of awards, culminating in the prestigious Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting excellence.
Beyond the Broadcast Booth
For those fortunate enough to meet Rick Jeanneret, his approachability and warmth were striking. He would graciously stop to engage with fans, take pictures, and share moments, embodying the genuine spirit of a beloved community figure. His impact extended beyond the broadcast booth; he was a beloved figure for fans, players, and staff alike.
A Lasting Legacy
Rick Jeanneret’s name adorns the rafters of the KeyBank Arena, a testament to his enduring influence on the Sabres and their fans. His voice echoed through the arena after Dominik Hasek or Ryan Miller made a remarkable save, playfully exclaiming, “We are not worthy!” In hindsight, it’s clear that his life and career were deserving of that phrase. Rest in peace, RJ.
A Family Man Remembered
Rick Jeanneret leaves behind a legacy that stretches beyond his broadcasting achievements. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, his children, Mark, Chris, and Shelly, as well as numerous grandchildren. His impact on both the sports world and his family’s life is immeasurable.
The passing of Rick Jeanneret marks the end of an era for Buffalo Sabres fans. His voice, his passion, and his unwavering commitment to the game will forever echo in the hearts of those who had the privilege of hearing his commentary. As the Sabres community mourns the loss of a legend, they also celebrate the extraordinary life of a man who made the game of hockey an experience unlike any other.