There's a Western New York connection to this year's Stanley Cup Finals. Calling play-by-play for the Nashville Predators in the current hockey championship is a former longtime Buffalo broadcaster who previously called local hockey and baseball games.
Before Weber moved to Nashville 20 years ago to take his role with the Predators, he spent many years calling play-by-play for Buffalo's National Hockey League franchise, the Sabres, as well as the city's minor league baseball club, the Buffalo Bisons.
Weber's previous work also includes time with the NHL's Los Angeles Kings. His friend and former broadcast partner, Bob Miller, had the fortune to twice witness and announce the Kings winning a Stanley Cup Championship, in 2012 and 2014. Weber, in a conversation with WBFO, revealed the advice he got from Miller as he calls play-by-play in the current Stanley Cup Finals.
"As we have constantly concurred during the playoffs, really enjoy and relish this," Weber said.
During his phone interview with WBFO, Weber spoke of how Nashville, which along with other parts of Tennessee had a very
small but real hockey presence decades ago has now embraced the sport and its Predators enthusiastically. No more are the days when the franchise has had to explain basic rules to fans attending home games.
Buffalo broadcasters, through the years, have been known for notable phrases uttered during some great moments they witnessed. The late Van Miller coined the term "Fandemonium" during the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl years while current Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret has a handful of memorable phrases including "La-La-La-LaFontaine," "top shelf, where momma hides the cookies," and "May Day!" WBFO asked Weber if he has thought of what he might say if his employers win the Stanley Cup.
He has not, nor will he think about it.
"I just want to have the honest emotion come out of your mouth," Weber replied. "I think the only time I'd ever scripted anything here was when the team won its first-ever (playoff) series against Anaheim in 2011. In all the underdog mentality, I couldn't help but bring out a little Rocky Balboa: 'Yo Adrian, they did it!'"
Weber was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999, recognized for his longtime role as the Bisons' broadcast announcer.
Nashville, like Buffalo, has an NHL and National Football League franchise as well as a Triple-A level minor league baseball team. The people, Weber notes, remind him of the folks back in Buffalo.
"So very friendly," he said. "I think back to how (former mayor) Jimmy Griffin always referred to it as the City of Good Neighbors and that pretty much is the case here. The one thing we miss is we just don't celebrate Dyngus Day properly here."