It’s a special night tonight in Buffalo — prior to the Sabres-Jets game, longtime play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will be inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame. Jeanneret and current Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuck (who will also be inducted this evening) will become the 40th and 41st individuals to achieve this honor.
The fact Jeanneret is letting this happen while still doing games is special in itself. Now in his 40th year of calling Sabres games, he originally wanted to receive these types of accolades after his career was done.
So, why the change of heart?
“I had a lot of people asking me to do it,” Jeanneret told the Buffalo News. “I didn’t have anything against it, I just always thought I would wait until I was all done before I accepted any offers. But for various reasons, I stopped and thought about it again [this offseason] and I agreed that this was a time do it.”
Just so we’re clear, Jeanneret is awesome. He’s one of the greatest voices in NHL history and responsible for some of the greatest calls of all time. A personal favorite of mine is when Brian Campbell hit RJ Umberger during the 2006 playoffs:
Also enjoyed this “cookie monster” call from Daniel Briere’s OT winner against Edmonton:
But those pale in comparison to Jeanneret’s most memorable moment — the “MAY DAY!” call on Brad May’s series-clinching goal in the 1993 Adams Division semifinal against Boston:
Got any favorite Rick Jeanneret calls of your own? (I’ve tried to find the ”Tis the season, fa la la la la, la Lafontaine” clip — no luck though.) Feel free to add them in the comments section below.