BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 9, 2012) --- Rick Jeanneret, Buffalo Sabres broadcaster and the longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in NHL history, has been awarded the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, the most prestigious award given to hockey broadcasters, and will be formally recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony this fall. The award, given by the NHL Broadcasters' Association, recognizes members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting.
"Our organization has always been extremely proud and humbled to have a legend like RJ calling our games and creating Sabres history," said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. "His talent is unmatched and he has touched generations of Sabres fans with his passion for this team and the game of hockey. He is more than deserving of this award and we are thrilled he will now be recognized among hockey's greatest voices."
With his vast knowledge of the game and his unwavering enthusiasm for hockey, Jeanneret’s distinct voice has been synonymous with the Buffalo Sabres for four decades. He began his prolific career with the Sabres in the 1971-72 season as the club’s radio play-by-play announcer and served primarily in that role until 1995, when he would also begin calling the action for the team’s televised games. His memorable calls and player nicknames have become forever linked with Sabres history for generations of fans.
Jeanneret’s career officially began in 1963, when the St. Catharines, Ont. native filled in for the regular announcer at a Niagara Falls Flyers (Junior A) game. He went on to become the color analyst for one season before moving to the play-by-play position in 1965. Since then, he has called over 40 years of Sabres hockey and was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame in 2011 and will also be enshrined in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
Jeanneret joins his longtime friend and colleague Ted Darling, the original "Voice of the Sabres," who received the award in 1994.