Legendary NHL broadcaster Rick Jeanneret has passed away at the age of 81. The Buffalo Sabres’ voice was a beloved member of the community, often referred to simply by his initials, RJ.
Jeanneret first joined the Sabres in 1971, and in 1995 he was added to their TV broadcast team. He succumbed to multi-organ failure after battling the illness for two years.
“It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother Rick Jeanneret,” read a statement from his family released by the Buffalo Sabres. “He was a Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Buffalo Sabres, and will be dearly missed.”
On August 17, 2023, Rick Jeanneret passed away after a two-year battle with multi-organ failure. His death was surrounded by family and accompanied by a statement that stated he “will be loved forever”.
Jeanneret had what is known as the “longest play-by-play announcing career” in National Hockey League (NHL) history; he was an part of the Buffalo Sabres broadcast team since the 1971-72 season, and remained with them until his retirement just last year.
In the wake of his death, tributes and condolences flooded in from all across the NHL community. Buffalo Sabres officials were especially vocal in expressing their admiration of Jeanneret’s accomplishments. With a lifetime dedicated to sports broadcasting, it is clear that Jeanneret will remain dearly missed for many years to come.
Legendary hockey broadcaster Rick Jeanneret has left an imprint on Buffalo, New York and the NHL alike. Terry Pegula, owner of the Sabres, remembers him fondly. “What a marvel it was to know and listen to him. His magical voice was indeed unique.” Among those whose life he touched was current Sabres GM Kevyn Adams, who attributes his love for hockey to Jeanneret’s warm voice. “He really is one of us,” said Adams. “A man of the people.” The sentiment was echoed by other members of the Sabres organization, who remember the icon for his wit and humour.
These adoring words for the late Jeanneret were intensified by Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2012 – the pinnacle of NHL broadcasting awards – presented to him in recognition of his influence upon the sport. We salute this remarkable man as we continue to share his remarkable stories.
Legendary broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, voice of the Buffalo Sabres, dies at 81