Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret to retire after 51st season


Buffalo Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret. (David Duprey/AP)

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret will retire after the upcoming 2021-22 season, which will be his NHL record-51st season in the booth for the team.

Jeanneret, 79, has been calling Sabres games since the team’s second season in 1971-72. He will be scheduled to call a limited number of games this season and has been sharing the role with Dan Dunleavy since 2013.

“To my Sabres family,” Jeanneret said in a statement Friday, “To spend 50 years doing any one job is more than a person can ask for, let alone one as special as mine. My interactions with the fans at KeyBank Center have been one of the thrills of my career, one that was sorely missing over the past year.

“So, let’s make it 51. I look forward to seeing you at the rink for one last run.”

Jeanneret began his tenure with the Sabres as the radio play-by-play voice but switched to television in the 1995-96 season. His famous calls include “Top Shelf, where momma hides the cookies” and “May Day” after Brad May’s overtime winner gave the Sabres a sweep of the Boston Bruins in the 1993 playoffs.

You can watch 10 of Jeanneret’s greatest calls of all time in the video below.

Jeanneret, who was born near Buffalo in St. Catharines, Ont., was given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for excellence in broadcasting by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

“I can’t imagine that I would’ve done anything else with my life. I can’t think of another occupation. I can’t think of another city. I can’t think of another sport,” he said in his statement Friday. “I think that the Buffalo Sabres and RJ were meant for each other.”

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