Longtime Sabres announcer taken from press box on stretcher

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret was taken out of the press box on a stretcher Saturday night during the third period of Buffalo’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

The team did not provide an immediate update on his condition following a 3-0 victory, but one was expected. WGR radio, the Sabres’ flagship station, reported Jeanneret was responsive before getting onto the stretcher.

The 76-year-old Jeanneret has done play-by-play for Sabres radio and television broadcasts since 1971, the longest tenure with a single team in NHL history. He was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2012.

In recent years, Jeanneret and the Sabres reached a deal to scale back his workload and have him call about half the team’s games. Jeanneret underwent treatment after being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014.

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Jeanneret opened the broadcast Saturday night dressed in a red Santa Claus suit and a white beard. He was walking around the press box between the second and third periods.

Jeanneret called the first two minutes of the third before the broadcast went silent for about 20 seconds and color commentator Rob Ray took over the play-by-play. Pregame and postgame host Brian Duff replaced Jeanneret and finished the game.

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