Legendary Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret will retire following the upcoming season, his 51st with the team.
Jeanneret, the NHL’s longest-tenured announcer, announced the decision Friday. He will call a limited number of games – 20 of the 82, according to The Buffalo News – during the 2021-22 campaign.
“To my Sabres family, to spend 50 years doing any one job is more than a person can ask for, let alone one as special as mine,” Jeanneret said in a statement. “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.”
In Western New York, Jeanneret’s popularity far surpasses many of Buffalo’s greatest athletes. His enthusiasm and passionate calls – the “May Day” cry following Brad May’s overtime goal in 1993 is arguably his most popular – have made him a local icon.
The Hockey Hall of Fame honored Jeanneret with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2012.
For the last decade or so, Jeanneret has worked a limited number of games, mostly at home. Dan Dunleavy, who joined the Sabres 2013, has handled most of the play-by-play duties.