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Rick Jeanneret

Rick Jeanneret
Born (1942-07-23) July 23, 1942
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Spouse(s) Sandra
Children Mark Jeanneret
Chris Jeanneret
Sports commentary career
Team(s) Buffalo Sabres
Genre(s) Play-by-play
Sports Ice hockey

John Richard "Rick" Jeanneret[1] (born July 23, 1942)[2] is the television and radio

  • 35 Years of Rick Jeanneret @
  • Rick Jeanneret Pictures and Audio Call Clips
  • MSG Network profile
  • Voices:Rick Jeanneret Preview, NHL Network

External links

  1. ^ Mendola, Nick (October 2012). "Broadcaster, Fan, Hall of Famer: Rick Jeanneret Reflects". Buffalo Spree. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Pergament, Alan (October 5, 2014). ‘I feel like an American,’ Jeanneret says, as he gets cancer treatment here. The Buffalo News. Retrieved October 5, 2014. “Jeanneret received his first radiation and chemotherapy treatments July 23, which also happened to be his 72nd birthday.”
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ CBC News . 
  6. ^ a b Hoppe, Bill (November 12, 2012). Sabres' Jeanneret still going strong as Hall honor arrives. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ Harry Neale to join Rick Jeanneret. WGR 550. 2 October 2007.
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^
  11. ^ Snow, Kevin (27 June 2012). "RJ WILL GO THE DISTANCE". Buffalo Sabres. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Reiman, Liz. Jeanneret out for Sabres game #2. WIVB-TV. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  13. ^ Rick Jeanneret back in the broadcast booth. WGRZ. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Pergament, Alan (May 9, 2013). Jeanneret to return next season. The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  15. ^ Pergament, Alan (August 6, 2013). Jeanneret to reduce schedule, Fairbanks confirms her schedule shift. The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  16. ^ Jeanneret has cancer. WGR (July 2, 2014). Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Mansfield, Aaron (August 11, 2012). Jeanneret considers Hall honor top-shelf. The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  19. ^
  20. ^|BUF|home
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "The Buffalo Broadcasters: Broadcasting Hall of Fame - 2012 Inductees". Retrieved 13 October 2012. 


Jeanneret was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame on September 20, 2012.[23]

On June 8, 2012, the Sabres announced that Jeanneret would be given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and thus be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted on November 12, 2012.[22]

On June 6, 2012, the Sabres announced that Jeanneret would be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.[21]

Jeanneret, along with former Sabre Dale Hawerchuk were inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on November 8, 2011.[20]

Awards and accolades

In all actuality, many of the members of the 1974–75 squad are still together, working for the Sabres organization and playing occasionally for the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team.

On April 9, 2001, as part of a promotion on radio station WNSA (at the time the Sabres' flagship station), Jeanneret called a fictional game known as the "Sabres Showdown." The fictional matchup was simulated on the NHL 2001 video game, and was said to be a matchup between the 1974–75 Buffalo Sabres and the 1998–99 Sabres, both of whom had been to the Stanley Cup finals. The game was said to have taken place at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, classic Sabres audio clips were played during intermission, and WNSA purposely held out any regular game staff from the commentary who had actually played on the 1974–75 team so as to make it seem as if they were actually playing the game. (For instance, color commentator Jim Lorentz was replaced by Mike Robitaille, who played for the Sabres in 1974–75 but had been traded before the playoffs, and WNSA hosts filled in other positions.) The 1975 team won the game thanks to Gilbert Perreault's game winning shootout goal.[2]

The Sabres Showdown

Jeanneret, a high school dropout, resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario with his wife, Sandra.[18] He has two sons, Mark and Chris. His son Mark Jeanneret is the Events Coordinator for the Erie Sports Commission in Erie, PA, where he previous was the play-by-play announcer for the Erie Otters of the OHL[19] and was a substitute for Rick with the Buffalo Sabres on December 27 and 28, 2010 on games against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. Chris is a Radio Broadcasting teacher at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario.

Personal life

Jeanneret is the play-by-play announcer for ICE's Super Chexx arcade machines.

Jeanneret appeared in a commercial for Molson Canadian, giving a call for a pick-up pond hockey game.

On July 1, 2014, Jeanneret was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer, which will require Jeanneret to miss the first part of the 2014–15 season. If treatment is successful, he will return to the Sabres.[16] Although he initially sought treatment in his native Canada due to that country's universal single-payer health care system, he later sought American treatment (coincidentally, from the same doctor that also treated Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly) due to his stronger personal attachment with the United States after four decades of work in the country.[2] On November 7, 2014 Jeanneret announced that following a CAT Scan he was clear of cancer.[17]

Jeanneret announced his intent to slowly phase out of the Sabres play-by-play job over the course of three years. Dan Dunleavy has already been chosen as Jeanneret's successor and will take over play-by-play duties, first as the substitute, then permanently in 2016.

On June 27, 2012, Jeanneret announced that he would return to the broadcast booth full-time during the 2012-13 season, this time with Rob Ray serving as color commentator in addition to the bench reporter role Ray had served in for previous seasons.[11] Jeanneret indicated it would be his last full season with the team,[6] and the decision may have been influenced by the labor dispute that shortened the length of the season. Furthermore, Jeanneret missed the first four games of the season due to illness; he ended up calling 44 games for the Sabres in the shortened 2013 season.[12][13] Jeanneret confirmed he would return for the 2013-14 season (he had signed a two-year contract the previous year) but did not make a solid commitment to how many games he would call in that season.[14] Most indications are that Jeanneret will call 55 to 65 games for the 2013-14 season.[15]

On May 26, 2011, the Sabres announced that Jeanneret (and Neale) would only cover home games and 10 to 15 road games for the Sabres in the 2011-12 NHL season. The road games will be determined once the 2011-2012 schedule will be released. This is in preparation for Jeanneret's pending retirement, in which Jeanneret stated that he almost retired after the 2010–11 season, but sought the reduced schedule instead.[9][10] Studio host Kevin Sylvester was tabbed to call those road games, along with Danny Gare. Jeanneret has indicated he will take up an increased workload in 2012-13, although he will stop short of a full-time broadcast.

Due to increasing age and health concerns, Jeanneret's retirement has been long rumored and speculated. Each year since the 2004–05 NHL lockout, however, Jeanneret has effectively agreed to "one more year." Jeanneret's contract was extended in 2007 through the 2008–09 NHL season.[8] It was further extended in 2008 through the 2009–10 season. He was back for the 2010–11 season along with Neale. During these seasons, Jeanneret did not broadcast games while the Sabres had west coast road trips and a home game against the Boston Bruins. This most recently was from December 27, 2010 through January 8, 2011. He was also off when the Sabres played the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa on January 25, 2011. During Jeanneret's vacation, his son Mark and Kevin Sylvester filled in on play-by-play from December 27, 2010 through January 8, 2011. [1] The idea for Jeanneret to take time off during west coast road games during these seasons was that of former managing partner Larry Quinn.

Later years

In 2005, Jeanneret and the Sabres released a CD that collected some of his most memorable calls. Proceeds from the CD, which was titled Roll the Highlight Film, went to charity. It was followed up in 2006 with Top Shelf (named after his signature call, "Top Shelf, where momma hides the cookies!"), a similarly themed DVD.

Jeanneret helped close the Aud on the final night of the regular season in 1996 with an emotional tribute to his colleague Ted Darling, who was the voice of the Sabres from 1970 until worsening of his Pick's Disease forced him to retire in the midst of the 1991–92 season. "I wish that standing next to me right now would be Ted Darling," said Jeanneret from the ice surface in a postgame ceremony. "See you in September, one block in that direction," said Jeanneret, pointing toward the new arena, then dubbed the Crossroads Arena and now called First Niagara Center.

From 1984 until 1992, he did the Sabres' play-by-play in addition to being a popular early-morning disc jockey at the now-defunct CJRN-AM in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In 1992, he chose to retire from CJRN and concentrate solely on the Sabres. "I had enough of two jobs. I finished the game, came home and had to be up by 4 a.m.," he said.

In 1963, Jeanneret took over the play-by-play of a Niagara Falls Flyers Junior A hockey game for the regular announcer, Edd Felstead, who had become sick. Jeanneret became the color analyst the following season before assuming full-time play by play radio duties in 1965. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Rick did several radio advertisements for local Niagara Falls hardware store Buildall. Jeanneret also called Buffalo Bisons (AHL) road games in 1969-70.[7] When the Sabres took the ice for their second season, for a game with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Aud on October 10, 1971, Jeanneret was in the radio booth high above the ice surface.

Jeanneret is a graduate of the Midwest Broadcasting School, a Chicago-based institution that Jeanneret described as a "crash course" in broadcasting.[6]



  • Career 1
    • Later years 1.1
  • Personal life 2
  • The Sabres Showdown 3
  • Awards and accolades 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

He worked alongside Jim Lorentz for over 20 years before Lorentz retired. Harry Neale, former color commentator for the Toronto Maple Leafs regional broadcasts and was a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada until the end of the 2006–07 season, was Jeanneret's partner through the 2011-12 season. Former Sabres enforcer Rob Ray is Jeanneret's current partner for the MSG Network and WGR.

Jeanneret has announced every season of the Sabres' history except one; the inaugural season was announced by a then unknown 25-year-old Canadian broadcaster named Dave Hodge, who the next year left to become the host of Hockey Night in Canada.

Jeanneret is a Canadian-American[2] of Swiss descent. It is misunderstood that Jeanneret was born in Switzerland. He is actually a native of Canada, born in St. Catharines, Ontario and raised in Terrace Bay, Ontario.[5] He is known for his energetic delivery (especially during big plays and fights), colorful player nicknames, passionate goal calls, and his trademark suspenders worn on air and uncanny resemblance to late comedian Rodney Dangerfield.


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