Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret is responsible for some of the NHL’s best goal calls (MAYDAY!) and has become a beloved figure in the city he calls home. That was no more evident when he and Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly dropped the puck at a recent Sabres home game for Hockey Fights Cancer.
Jeanneret has been out of the booth this season while battling throat cancer. The night he dropped the puck at First Niagara Center to roaring cheers, the veteran voice informed those watching the home broadcast on the MSG Networks that he was cancer free.
On Friday, the Sabres revealed that Jeanneret is ready to return to the booth, but he’s going to ease back into things. The uniquely-voiced broadcaster will call the first period of the Sabres game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. He expects to be back to full strength and be able to call a full game in the near future.
"The time seems right to slowly begin transitioning back to work,” Jeanneret told Sabres.com. “My doctors have told me I’m cancer-free and I’m feeling well enough to get back in the booth, even if it’s only on a limited basis for the time being. The kindness and well-wishes from everyone, especially Sabres fans and the Western New York community, has been overwhelming and I’m truly grateful for the tremendous support during this process.
“I'm feeling pretty good, although a little weak from weight loss, which is par for the course and the recovery regimen. I had planned all along to get back in the booth, but I couldn't set a timetable given that I didn't know how the recovery would go. I had no preset return date, but it was certainly affected by the news that I had been found cancer free.”
So this is phenomenal news for both Jeanneret and Sabres fans who undoubtedly missed the familiar voice of the Foster Hewitt Award winner.
Now let’s enjoy some of RJ’s best calls: