We’ve all felt the thrill of those heart-pounding moments on the ice. The slap of the puck, the roar of the crowd – and the voice that brought it all to life for over five decades.

But today, we gather not to mourn but to celebrate the life and legacy of a true legend whose voice echoed through 51 seasons of Buffalo Sabres’ history. Rick Jeanneret, the cherished play-by-play announcer of the Buffalo Sabres, has passed away at the age of 81.

A farewell to a beloved voice


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On a somber Thursday night, the news rippled across social media like a collective gasp. His voice, synonymous with the exhilaration of ice hockey, fell silent, leaving behind a legacy that spans generations.

Beyond the commentator’s booth, Rick Jeanneret was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother. His passion for hockey went hand in hand with his love for family.

The Sabres’ announcement revealed that he had battled multi-organ failures for two years before passing away, surrounded by the warmth of his loved ones. It’s a reminder that even the most iconic voices are woven into the tapestry of human connection.

Rick Jeanneret’s voice was more than just a sound – it was a living memory. His words weren’t just commentary; they were a symphony of emotion. For 51 incredible seasons in NHL, his unwavering enthusiasm and magnetic command painted a vivid picture of every game. Every goal became an exclamation mark, every save a breath held in unison.

Terry Pegula, the Sabres’ owner, paid homage to the extraordinary man who enriched the lives of all who knew him. Further, Jeanneret’s magic extended beyond the ice. His legacy encapsulated the heart and soul of Sabres’ history, transcending wins and losses.

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From the booth to eternity

On April 29, 2022, a significant chapter came to a close when Jeanneret’s final announcement filled the KeyBank Center as the Sabres defeated Chicago Blackhawks. Even though his voice may have gradually faded from the broadcasts, his influence is destined to resonate eternally within the hallways of hockey’s past.

Rick Jeanneret’s initial journey was embarked on in 1963. His one-of-a-kind approach, characterized by spur-of-the-moment expressions and genuine emotion, swiftly became his signature touch. Jeanneret’s relationship with the Sabres began in 1971, and from that moment, he was the voice that echoed in the hearts of fans.


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However, what makes Jeanneret truly special is his remarkable knack for capturing those unforgettable hockey moments. His phrases like “La-la-la-la-LaFontaine” and “Top shelf where momma hides the cookies” were more than just words.

Although Jeanneret didn’t have the chance to witness the Sabres raising the Stanley Cup, his impact stretched well beyond championships. He guided fans through all the ups and downs, joining in the celebrations of triumph and sharing the heartaches of defeat. His connection with Buffalo and its fans was unwavering, to say the least.

In 2014, Jeanneret faced and conquered a battle with throat cancer, showcasing his incredible resilience. The outpouring of support from Buffalo’s fans fueled his fight and highlighted the strong bond he had cultivated. As a meaningful tribute, the Sabres paid homage to him by hanging a banner in KeyBank Center, serving as a symbol of the affection he showered upon the team and its devoted fans.

As we bid farewell to a legendary voice, we remember the three words that Jeanneret left us with: “I love you.” If you followed Jeanneret’s commentary then please share your best memories.

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