When the new-look, young Buffalo Sabres return to the ice next season, old pro Rick Jeanneret will be back in the TV and radio booth doing play-by-play.
The 70-year-old Jeanneret, who has been calling Sabres games almost from the team’s inception, ended any speculation about his future Tuesday and confirmed that he plans to be back next season.
“I don’t know how many games I am going to do,” said Jeanneret, who added he has a year left on his contract. “I’ll do most of them. It depends on the schedule. There are several variables. There could be three trips to Florida, which I could handle if I’m already there.”
Jeanneret worked 44 of the 48 games in the just-completed shortened season, missing the first four games because of an illness. He said he feels fine now.
“I’m doing pretty good for an old guy,” said Jeanneret. “I have 70-year-old aches and pains.”
He added the compressed schedule this past season worked out fine because most of the games were on the East Coast and there weren’t many back-to-back games.
While he acknowledged that the Sabres’ failure to make the playoffs was frustrating, Jeanneret put it in context.
“There have been worse years than this year,” said Jeanneret. “They were in it about to the end. As long as you’re competitive and in the mix, it’s not that bad.”
Jeanneret’s return would appear to put an end to speculation that the Sabres are considering having different announce teams work radio and TV.
Greg Ried, the vice president and general manager of WGR and other Entercom stations in town, said a few weeks ago that having separate announce teams would be a consideration only if Jeanneret left the booth and even then it would depend on who would replace him. That is no longer a concern.
“Since Rick said he is coming back, our plan is to have him back on the radio,” Ried said Tuesday.