News 4’s Tara Lynch spoke to former Sabers coach Lindy Ruff and broadcaster Pete Weber about her experience with Rick Jeanneret. You can hear their comments in the video player above.
BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Former and current members of the Buffalo Sabers responded to the death of Hall of Famer Rick Jeanneret, who died Thursday.
Ryan Millerwho played for the team from 2002 to 2013: “I will always remember this wonderful man who was a true friend.”
Matthew Barnabywho played for the team from 1992 to 1999 added, “I’m sad…I’m crying…RIP RJ I.” [love] You. We all [love] You.”
Phil Houseleyformer head coach and player of the season 1982-89: “I am deeply saddened by one of the greatest @BuffaloSabres broadcaster and my good friend Rick Jeanneret. I can still hear him yelling “Woowweee Housleeey” on the radio who turned into Howie and is now our newest grandson. He was one of the best. #RIPRJ“
Daniel Briere, GM of the Philadelphia Flyers, played for the Sabers from 2002 to 2007: I was extremely saddened to hear the news of Rich Jeanneret’s death. The Sabers family, the entire city of Buffalo, and the National Hockey League have lost an iconic voice of the game and a true gentleman. Personally, I have very fond memories of spending a significant portion of my career alongside Rick and I can tell you the calls he generated will forever hold a special place in my heart. My condolences go to his wife Sandra and the entire Jeanneret family.”
Evander Kaneplayed for the Sabers from the 2015-17 season: “Rick Jeanneret was one of the all-time greats in broadcasting, there are a lot of great memories of hearing his voice on the post-game highlights in Buffalo.” Thanks for the great one Entertainment and rest in peace Rick.”
Pat LaFontaine, played for the Sabers from 1991 to 1996, via the CiC Foundation: “Goodbye sweetheart, RJ. I will miss those hilarious private conversations and cherish the public memories. We will forever be inseparable and I am so proud to have been your friend. I just hope you’re well past the point of ‘mommy hiding the cookies’ now.”
Governor Kathy Hochul: “Rick Jeanneret was more than the voice of the Buffalo Sabers – he was the voice of Buffalo. RJ’s booming voice will never be forgotten and my heart goes out to his family and his everlasting fans.”
Statements also came from the NHL and executives within the Sabers organization, including Sabers general manager Kevyn Adams and owner Terry Pegula:
Kevin Adams, General Manager and native of WNY: “Growing up in Buffalo, Rick Jeanneret wasn’t just the voice of the Sabers, he was the voice of our city. Like many others, he helped me nurture my love for hockey. Outside the dressing room, Rick was an incredible man loved by everyone. His wit and humor were second to none and we are all fortunate to have known him. I am heartbroken at his death and offer my condolences to his wife Sandra and all of his family and friends. Rest in peace.”
Terry Pegula, Team Owner: “Rick was indeed a very special and much loved man by all who knew him and listened to him, his magic and his command. How glad I am to have known him. How lucky we all were to have been near him and to have listened to him. Rick Jeanneret’s impact on the history of the Sabers extends well beyond the broadcast booth, and he will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to Sandra, Rick’s family, friends and everyone he loved.”
National Hockey League (NHL): “Rick Jeanneret’s distinctive voice was the signature sound of Buffalo Sabers hockey for half a century.” With passion and excitement and a remarkable grasp of the moment, he brought the essence of our game into the homes of western New Yorkers. The National Hockey League is saddened by his passing and sends its condolences to his wife, Sandra, the entire Jeanneret family and the countless Sabers fans whose love of the game was reinforced by hearing this legendary broadcaster.”
Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. More of his work can be found here and Follow him on Twitter.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 team in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.