The Buffalo Sabres announced today that play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret has signed a three year deal with the Sabres. This October will begin his 42nd year behind the microphone for the team.
While Jeanneret won’t be calling every single game this season, he will be there for an increasingly reduced number of games each year for the next three. He has had a similar plan over the past few years, but said he is going to retire and hand over the play-by-play duties to veteran broadcaster Dan Dunleavy.
Dunleavy will serve as a fill-in for Jeanneret until the 2016-2017 season, when Dunleavy will take over for good.
“We are very lucky to have such a deep and talented pool of broadcasters in the Sabres organization,” said Sabres President Ted Black. “RJ is a hall-of-fame talent and we are thrilled that he will be with us for three more years as he winds down his prolific career. We are also excited to bring on Dan, who is a proven play-by-play talent that we know will be a capable successor to RJ. Having an up-and-comer like Dan and a broadcasting legend like RJ behind the microphone will be a great one-two punch for our Sabres broadcasts in the coming years.”
Dunleavy is from the Maple Leafs broadcasting team and has a long resumè. Most notably, he spent the past 19 years at Sportsnet Radio and The Fan 590 in Toronto.
“I am excited and honored to join the Sabres organization and its tremendous broadcasting team,” Dunleavy said. “I’m excited because it’s well known that Buffalo is a hockey-crazy city that adores its hockey team. It makes being a broadcaster so much more thrilling when you know that the fans are on the edge of their seats while watching their team. And I’m honored that I get an opportunity to work with and learn from one of the best play-by-play announcers hockey has ever seen in Rick. He is the pinnacle of our profession and I’m humbled that I will be following in his legendary footsteps.”
While it’s official that Jeanneret is slowly on his way out, the Sabres do have some time to give him the one thing that matters most – a Stanley Cup. (Rick Jeanneret – Just One Thing Missing)