May 26, 2011, 1:24 PM EDT
Outsiders might critique and mock local announcers, but fans of a given NHL team often develop a passionate affinity for the local crew. Buffalo Sabres fans have developed such a relationship with announcer Rick Jeanneret, whose trademark inflection and catch phrases make him a beloved figure in the region.
The Sabres announced that the broadcast team of Jeanneret and Harry Neale will undergo a reduced schedule, a measure made to help preserve Jeanneret’s health. Jeanneret and Neal will only work 10-15 road games while broadcasting all of the Sabres’ home games during the 2010-11 season, according to a Sabres press release. Rob Ray will also join the duo in the booth for road games (also according to the press release.)
Jeanneret and Neal shared their thoughts while Sabres president Ted Black provided a nice description of the connection Sabres fans have developed with Jeanneret.
“It’s no secret that the constant travel has been wearing on me over the years, and there were several times last season when I thought that it might be my last,” Jeanneret said. “That’s why I presented this arrangement to Sabres management. I think it’s the best of both worlds, and allows me to continue doing the job I love. I really want to thank the Sabres for accommodating my request.”
“I’m delighted to continue working with Rick, and am looking forward to the upcoming season,” said Neale.
“Rick and Harry have become part of the fabric of this organization,” said Black. “We really believe this plan will go a long way in prolonging their careers and continue their relationships with the Buffalo Sabres.”
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