And, oh, how you’ve loved him back. Both on Friday and for the last 51 years.
“I thought ‘I love you’ kind of summed it up,” Jeanneret said as he met Reporters during the first intermission of the Sabers’ pulsating 4-3 Victory over Nashville. “It means everything to me. … It’s just something that came to mind. I didn’t know how to end it. I honestly didn’t. I had to speak and I had to say something. And I thought that was the best way to end it. So I did. “
You looked on the ice and you saw so many of his old broadcast partners. Jim Lorentz was down there. So was Harry Neale. And Mike Robitaille, Larry Playfair and Danny Gare, too. Jeanneret was particularly touched to see Ted Darling’s widow, Sheila, and his son Joel, a longtime executive with Hockey Night in Canada. There were a couple of former players.
The Buffalo Sabers honored longtime play-by-play announces Rick Jeanneret at a pregame ceremony Friday at the KeyBank Center. Jeanneret is retiring at the end of the month after 51 years with the Sabers.
“It was wonderful,” they said. “It’s that all of the guys that came back to this, all the alumni guys and to have all the former Broadcasters that I’ve worked with over the years, pretty special, too. So it’s awfully nice. Knowing they had my back, so to speak, when I was up there speaking. “
Current partner Rob Ray brought down the house when they represented the alumni by saying simply, “You deserve to be in the rafters as much as anyone who ever wore the uniform. “