The voice of the Buffalo Sabres will temporarily be silenced during cancer treatment.
The Sabres confirmed Wednesday that Rick Jeanneret has throat cancer. He's set to undergo treatment soon but expects to return to the broadcasting booth this coming season.
"The Buffalo Sabres are deeply saddened to learn of Rick Jeanneret’s cancer diagnosis," the team said in a statement. "R.J. has been a vital part of the Sabres family and the Buffalo community for 43 years, and this news undoubtedly weighs heavily on everyone who has had the privilege of listening to his broadcasts through the years. As he begins treatment in the coming weeks, we will continue to keep R.J., his wife, Sandra, his mother, Kay, his sister, Marcia, his children, Mark and Chris, his stepdaughter, Shelly, and his grandchildren in our thoughts. We wish R.J. a full and speedy recovery and know his tenacity will serve him well in his fight. On behalf of the Jeanneret family, the Sabres are asking for respect of the family’s privacy as RJ undergoes treatment … the team has set up a dedicated email address, [email protected], for fans to send well-wishes and notes of encouragement."
While Jeanneret expects to return, exactly when and for how many games is not certain. He was expected to begin taking a reduced role in 2014-15 even before his diagnosis as part of the three-year contract he signed last offseason. That plan called for him to call fewer games in 2014-15 and 2015-16, with Dan Dunleavy relieving him full time after that.
Jeanneret was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. He's also in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. He is the longest-tenured broadcaster in NHL history, having been behind the microphone in some capacity since 1971.
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