Rick Jeanneret falls ill during Sabres play-by-play but is "doing well"

Dec 23, 2018

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret fell ill during the third period of Saturday's broadcast and was taken from the Keybank Center on a stretcher.

Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret was dressed as Santa Claus Saturday night before he fell ill during the TV broadcast.
Credit Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres released a statement Sunday morning, confirming Jeanneret was taken to Buffalo General Medical Center, where he was "resting and doing well." The statement continued that Jeanneret is looking forward "to being back in the booth after the break." The Sabres are off for Christmas.

Early in the third period Saturday night, Jeanneret fell silent. There was a 23-second gap with nothing but the sound of skating before analyst Rob Ray picked up the commentary from his vantage point between the benches. Host Brian Duff rushed to the press box to take over the play-by-play.

Jeanneret appeared during the Sabres pre-game show on MSG dressed as Santa Claus. He was still decked out in the outfit as the game started as he tossed prizes to fans outside the press box during a stop in play during the first period.

Jeanneret is the National Hockey League's longest-tenured play-by-play announcer, having served in the role since 1971. In 2014, he was treated for throat cancer and returned to the broadcast booth.

Jeanneret has a reduced schedule of 42 games this year, with only 13 road games.

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night 3-0.