Rick Jeanneret, who has done radio and television play-by-play for the Buffalo Sabres since 1971, was taken from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., on a stretcher after pausing his broadcast early in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, according to the Buffalo News.
Jeanneret, who has the distinction of holding the longest tenure with a team in NHL history, called the first two minutes of the third period when he quit talking.
Rob Ray, usually the color commentator, began calling play-by-play after about 20 seconds, according to multiple outlets, and Brian Duff, who hosts the Sabres pregame and postgame shows, eventually took over play-by-play duties.
No update on Jeanneret’s condition was immediately available later Saturday night but WGR radio, the Sabres’ flagship station, reported that he was responsive before getting onto the stretcher.
The 76-year-old Jeanneret, who began calling Sabres games in the team’s second season, appeared on the TV pregame show in a Santa suit, and was walking around the press box between the second and third periods.
Jon Campbell, a reporter for the USA Today Network, tweeted, “We’re all very concerned,” along with a broadcast clip of what Jeanneret was talking about before falling silent.
Jeanneret underwent treatment for throat cancer in the summer of 2014, although he announced that he was cancer-free by that November.
The Hockey Hall of Fame member has scaled back his duties to roughly about half of the Sabres’ games.