"The Buffalo Sabres are deeply saddened to learn of Rick Jeanneret’s cancer diagnosis. RJ has been a vital part of the Sabres family and the Buffalo community for 43 years, and this news undoubtedly weighs heavily on everyone who has had the privilege of listening to his broadcasts through the years.
"As he begins treatment in the coming weeks, we will continue to keep RJ, his wife, Sandra, his mother, Kay, his sister, Marcia, his children, Mark and Chris, his stepdaughter, Shelly, and his grandchildren in our thoughts. We wish RJ a full and speedy recovery and know his tenacity will serve him well in his fight.
"On behalf of the Jeanneret family, the Sabres are asking for respect of the family’s privacy as RJ undergoes treatment."
The team has created an email address, GetWellRJ@sabres.com, for fans to send well-wishes and notes of encouragement.
Many thanks to Brad May for tweeting within the hour to remind us that a huge game in his career and Sabres history just began 20 years ago tonight. Unforgettable goal with an unforgettable Rick Jeanneret call in the first video and a seven-minute recap of the entire game below that one. (The Sabres won it, 6-5, after trailing, 5-2. Lots of people forget that point).
Just another reminder of how much you miss playoff hockey when it's not around.
WASHINGTON -- Rick Jeanneret has been calling Sabres games for more than 40 years. The butterflies have long since disappeared.
Still, he's a little anxious as the puck gets ready to drop for the Sabres and Capitals.
"We’ll find out how rusty I am very shortly," Jeanneret said this afternoon during a broadcast booth chat in Verizon Center. "I’m long past
the days of being nervous, but I am anticipating it quite a bit because I’m not
so sure I’m going to be right up to snuff to begin with here. I think once
things get under way, I’ll be fine."
Jeanneret is back after missing the opening four games with an illness that required a brief hospitalization. He's spent the last week recuperating and following doctor's orders.
"I spent a lot of time with the iPad and a lot of time on the Kindle reading," he said. "I really didn’t do a whole lot more than that. I was told to
rest, and I tried to keep my nose to the grindstone and obey the orders. That’s
basically all I was doing.
"I did keep in touch with the team, and they were
letting me know what was happening. Mostly, from the top down, they just said, 'Stay away and get better. Don’t even think about coming back until you are.' It
was the typical Buffalo Sabres’ treatment of employees. It was top shelf."
John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.