Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret is the longest-tenured broadcaster in hockey. He joined the Sabres broadcast team in 1971-72 and has been doing games ever since.
Jeanneret’s career officially began in 1963, when he filled in for the regular announcer at a Niagara Falls Flyers (Junior A) game. He went on to become the color analyst for one season before moving to the play-by-play position in 1965.
Jeanneret joined the legendary Ted Darling as an analyst for Sabres games broadcast on WGR Radio at the start of the team’s second season in October 1971. When Darling was needed for TV broadcasts, Jeanneret took over the radio play-by-play duties and eventually assumed those responsibilities on a full-time basis through the 1994-95 season. Starting in 1995-96, Jeanneret became the television play-by-play announcer and began simulcasts on TV and radio in the early 2000s. After taking a few games off each season in recent years, Jeanneret will be doing play-by-play for all Sabres games during the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Jeanneret’s memorable calls and player nicknames have become forever linked with Sabres history for generations of fans. He proclaimed May Day, May Day, May Day when Sabres player Brad May scored the winning goal in overtime of a playoff game against the Boston Bruins in 1993. Then there is Top shelf, where Momma hides the cookies! He called the Sabres two Stanley Cup finals in 1975 and 1999.
Besides working for the Sabres, Jeanneret spent several years in the 1980s as morning host on Niagara Falls, Ontario radio station CJRN-AM.
Besides this honor from the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, Jeanneret will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame later this year. In 2011, Jeanneret was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
A native of St. Catharines, Ontario, Jeanneret currently resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with his wife, Sandra. Jeanneret has two sons, Mark and Chris. Mark is the play-by-play voice of the American Hockey League team in Portland, Maine.