BUFFALO, N.Y. (RELEASE) - Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black today announced a slate of changes to Buffalo Sabres broadcasts for the 2012-13 season. Among the major changes will be the addition of Rob Ray to the broadcast booth as the full-time color analyst and the creation of a new Sabres radio show, hosted by Kevin Sylvester, which will air daily beginning with its debut on June 18.
Ray, an eight-year veteran of the Sabres broadcast team, enters his first stint as a full-time color commentator and will provide analysis for all 82 games in the 2012-13 season. He joins Foster Hewitt Award winner and Sabres Hall-of-Famer Rick Jeanneret in the booth as Jeanneret, currently the longest-tenured broadcaster in hockey, embarks on his 41st season behind the microphone. After limiting the number of games he called last season, Jeanneret has signed a new, multi-year contract and will increase the number of games he will call in 2012-13.
The team will also be rolling out its new radio program, Sabres Hockey Hotline, on WGR 550, beginning Monday, June 18. The program will be broadcast live from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday year-round from the Sabres Store at First Niagara Center. The show will be an additional outlet for Sabres fans to hear exclusive interviews, analysis, team updates, as well as game and practice recaps. WGR 550, the team's official radio station, and the Sabres have been broadcast partners for a combined 25 years over the course of the franchise's 42-year history.
"We are very excited to add yet another platform for our fans to get original Sabres content," said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. "Sabres Hockey Hotline will give fans an additional 350+ hours of Sabres programming each year that we know fans will love. It's an ambitious undertaking for our organization and that's why we put Kevin in charge of producing and hosting the show. He brings an important level of experience and passion for Sabres hockey that will make the show a great success."
Sylvester, who has been a part of Sabres broadcasts since the 2005-06 season, will transition the bulk of his duties to the radio program and will serve as the show's host and executive producer.
"I have a tremendous passion for Sabres hockey and for broadcasting, so I'm excited to move ahead with this new opportunity and contribute across multiple media platforms," Sylvester said. "Sabres Hockey Hotline is just another example of how the organization is engaging fans to make them feel part of the fabric of Sabres hockey."
Brian Duff, who joined the Sabres broadcast team in 2011-12, has also signed a new deal with the team to serve as the full-time host for all Sabres broadcasts on MSG. In that role, Duff will host the Tops Game Night pregame show before all games, the Lexus Post Game Report and the intermission reports between periods.
Veteran broadcasters Harry Neale, Danny Gare and Mike Robitaille will be mainstays across all Sabres platforms in 2012-13, providing in-depth analysis before, during and after games. Neale will join Robitaille as a regular analyst on the pregame show and intermission reports, while Robitaille will continue his work on the postgame show. In addition to writing a new blog on Sabres.com, Gare will be appearing on Sabres Hockey Hotline in a weekly segment. The trio, along with Sylvester, will also contribute regular feature stories that will be shown on MSG broadcasts and on Sabres.com .
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