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Rick Jeanneret 'resting and doing well' after disappearing from Sabres broadcast

Rick Jeanneret 'resting and doing well' after disappearing from Sabres broadcast

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Longtime Buffalo Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret before his induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9, 2012. (Derek Gee/News file photo)

Buffalo Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, who was removed from the KeyBank Center press box on a stretcher during the third period of the team's game Saturday night, was "resting and doing well" at Buffalo General Medical Center, the team said in a statement Sunday morning.

"On behalf of Rick and his family, we'd like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers," the statement said. "Rick looks forward to being back in the booth after the break."

Two sources said Jeanneret, 76, was having his pacemaker data analyzed after he began feeling light-headed on the air and stopped talking during the broadcast of the game against the Anaheim Ducks. Jeanneret had the device implanted in 2014.

Jeanneret after health scare: 'I feel pretty good now'

Jeanneret called the play-by-play as normal for the first two periods Saturday, but his voice was noticeably lower as the game resumed in the third period and there were some gaps in his call.

In his final sequence of the night, Jeanneret was following the Sabres' advance of the puck into the Anaheim zone, when he suddenly went silent on the air.

As the game continued, there was no commentary for 23 seconds until analyst Rob Ray took over calling the game from between the benches. Sources said Ray was told via his headset to call the game because there was a technical problem in the booth.

The broadcast continued with Ray at the mic while intermission host Brian Duff moved to the press box to continue to call the action the rest of the way. Duff then returned to his 200 Level post to do his regular postgame wrapup with former Sabres goaltender Martin Biron. There was no mention of Jeanneret's situation on the air before the broadcast signed off.

Jeanneret seemed in fine spirits before the game, as he appeared on the pregame show dressed as Santa. During one break in play in the first period, still dressed in the Santa suit, he tossed prizes to fans in the 300 Level below his booth. By the start of the third period, Jeanneret had changed out of the suit into street clothes.

Jeanneret, who started with the team in 1971, was presented with the Foster Hewitt Award for outstanding broadcasting by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. He survived a bout with throat cancer four years ago and had a pacemaker inserted in 2014.

Jeanneret said before the season that he felt 100 percent.

“I am not even concerned about the cancer anymore,” Jeanneret said in September. “The last time I saw the doctor he said, ‘I am not even going to scan you. There is nothing to scan.’ ”

Jeanneret was set to work 42 games this season, with his road schedule down to 13 games after doing more than 20 last season. He is scheduled to take a two-week break in February, heading to Florida.

Jeanneret worked the Sabres' road trip last week to Washington and Boston. He also attended the "Sabres Road Crew" event at the Grand Central Bar in the nation's capital on Dec. 14, greeting fans and signing autographs throughout the two-hour party.

Jeanneret on cancer, criticism and carrying on

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