News 4’s Tara Lynch spoke with former Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff and broadcaster Pete Weber about their experiences with Rick Jeanneret. You can hear their comments in the video player above.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former and current members of the Buffalo Sabres reacted to the death of Hall of Fame broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, who died on Thursday.
Ryan Miller, who played for the team from 2002-13 seasons, said: “I will always remember this wonderful man who was a true friend.”
Dominik Hasek, played for Sabres from 1992-2000 seasons: “A legendary broadcaster and an excellent human being has left us … We will never forget. Rest In Peace Rick.”
Matthew Barnaby, played for the team from 1992-1999: “I’m sad… I’m crying… RIP RJ I [love] you. We all [love] you.”
Phil Housley, former head coach and player from 1982-89 seasons: “I am deeply saddened by one of the greatest @BuffaloSabres broadcasters & my good friend, Rick Jeanneret. I can still hear him calling, “Woowweee Housleeey” on the air, which has morphed into Howie, & is now our newest grandson. He was one of the best. #RIPRJ“
Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers GM, played for Sabres from 2002-07: I was extremely saddened to hear the news of Rich Jeanneret’s passing. The Sabres family, the entire city of Buffalo and the National Hockey League lost an iconic voice of the game and a true gentleman. Personally, I have very fond memories having spent a significant portion of my career alongside Rick, and I will tell you that the calls he produced will live in a special place in my heart forever. My condolences to his wife, Sandra, and the entire Jeanneret family.”
Phil Housley, former Sabres player and head coach: “I am deeply saddened by one of the greatest [Buffalo Sabres] broadcasters & my good friend, Rick Jeanneret. I can still hear him calling, ‘Woowweee Housleeey’ on the air, which has morphed into Howie, & is now our newest grandson. He was one of the best. #RIPRJ“
Pat LaFontaine, played for Sabres from 1991-96 seasons, via CiC Foundation: “Goodbye to my dear, RJ. I’ll miss those hilarious private calls and cherish the public memories. We will be inextricably linked forever, and I’m so proud to have been your friend. I just hope you’re now way above where ‘mama hides the cookies.'”
Andrew Peters, played for Sabres from 2003-08 seasons: “If you ever met him, or watched a Sabres game, you know how special he was. Rest in Peace, RJ.”
Evander Kane, played for Sabres from 2015-17 seasons: “Rick Jeanneret was one of the greats at broadcasting, lots of great memories hearing his voice on the highlights after games in Buffalo. Thank you for the great entertainment and rest in peace Rick.”
Patrick Kane, NY Rangers forward and Buffalo native: “Sharing my sympathy with the Jeanneret family on Rick’s passing. He was one of the biggest reasons I liked the Sabres so much growing up. RIP RJ.”
Jason Woolley, played for Sabres from 1998-02 seasons: “RIP my friend you were the voice heard round the Hockey World”
Gov. Kathy Hochul: “Rick Jeanneret was more than the voice of the Buffalo Sabres — he was the voice of Buffalo. RJ’s booming voice will never be forgotten, and my heart is with his family and forever fans.”
Statements also came from the NHL and leaders within the Sabres organization, including Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams and Owner Terry Pegula:
Kevyn Adams, general manager and WNY native: “Growing up in Buffalo, Rick Jeanneret was not just the voice of the Sabres, he was the voice for our city. He helped foster my love of hockey, along with so many others. Beyond the booth, Rick was an incredible man that was loved by all. His wit and humor was unmatched and we are all lucky to have known him. I am heartbroken by his passing and send my condolences to his wife, Sandra, and all of his family and friends. May he rest in peace.”
Terry Pegula, team owner: “Rick was indeed a very special and very loved man, to and by all, who knew him and listened to him, his magic, and his command. How glad I am to have known him. How lucky were we all to have been around him and to have listened to him. Rick Jeanneret’s mark on Sabres history extends far beyond the broadcast booth and we will miss him dearly. I extend my deepest condolences to Sandra, Rick’s family, friends and all that were loved by him.”
National Hockey League (NHL): “Rick Jeanneret’s unmistakable voice was the signature sound of Buffalo Sabres hockey for half a century. He brought the essence of our game into the homes of Western New Yorkers with passion and excitement and a remarkable flair for capturing the moment. The National Hockey League is saddened by his passing and sends its condolences to his wife, Sandra, the entire Jeanneret family, and the countless Sabres fans whose love of the game was enhanced by listening to this legendary broadcaster.”
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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.