For Rick Jeanneret, Monday was a day that was more than 40 years in the making. Don Heins was with the Sabres legend as he became a Hall of Fame announcer at a ceremony in Toronto.
TORONTO — "Standing among the iconic voices of my profession, and at the foot of the true giants of hockey down the street, it's the honor of a lifetime."
Rick Jeanneret has reached the mountaintop, bestowed with the highest honor a hockey broadcaster can aspire for.
After more than 40 years providing fans with those artistic descriptions of the greatest moments in Sabres history, he received the Hall of Fame jacket and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.
"There are so many great broadcasters out there, I think, who have not achieved this great level of notoriety. And this one I think is, what did they used to say? Win One for the Gipper? I think I won one for the fans of the Buffalo Sabres, and that makes it even better for me," Jeanneret said.
And perhaps there's one more call to be made.
"The Stanley Cup? Yes, that's the one. Does that mean I'd end my career? Pretty darn good chance I would say. Pretty darn good chance."
Has he ever thought about what he'd say when, hopefully, that day does come?
"I hope I don't have to think about it. I hope it just comes off my tongue like 'May Day' or something like that."
The enshrinement is a much needed breath of fresh air for hockey's capital city, with the classy group of Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure, and Adam Oates joining the media recipients in a much needed positive day for hockey.