Buffalo Sabres' longtime broadcaster taken to hospital

The longtime play-by-play broadcaster for the Buffalo Sabres was taken to a hospital during the third period of Saturday night's National Hockey League game, the Buffalo News reported.

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Rick Jeanneret, 76, was removed from the press box on a stretcher during the latter stages of Buffalo’s 3-0 victory against the Anaheim Ducks, the newspaper reported.

Jeanneret began broadcasting Sabres games on radio during the 1971-72 season, the franchise’s second season in the NHL. He moved to the television booth during the 1995-96 season and has handled both TV and radio duties for Sabres games since the 1997-98 season.

Jeanneret was responsive before getting onto the stretcher, according to WGR, the radio station that broadcasts Sabres games. A Sabres spokesman said late Saturday there was no update on Jeanneret's condition, the News reported.

Jeanneret had opened his broadcast wearing a red Santa suit and a white beard, the newspaper reported. He had changed into his street clothes at the start of the third period, and two minutes into the period he suddenly stopped talking. After a 23-second span of quiet, analyst Rob Ray substituted for Ieanneret, calling the game from between the benches at ice level, the News reported.

Intermission host Brian Duff moved to the press box and took over the play-by-play, the newspaper reported.

Jenneret's tenure with the Sabres is the longest with a single team in NHL history, ESPN reported. He received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2012 from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Jeanneret had treatment for throat cancer in 2014, ESPN reported.