The man behind one of hockey’s most recognizable voices has been diagnosed with cancer.
Rick Jeanneret, the Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man since 1971, is battling throat cancer. He was informed two weeks ago that a "golf ball-sized growth" is living inside his throat, according to the Buffalo News. He had a biopsy the week prior.
“I would like to stress I have every intention of coming back,” the 71-year-old St. Catharines, Ont., native told the newspaper. “I have probably three months ahead of me that aren’t going to be fun. I know they aren’t going to be.”
Jeanneret is expected to endure six or seven weeks of radiation treatment and could require chemotherapy, the News reported. He has stage III cancer and an 85% chance of recovery.
“RJ has been a vital part of the Sabres family and the Buffalo community for 43 years,” the Sabres said in a statement, “and this news undoubtedly weighs heavily on everyone who has had the privilege of listening to his broadcasts through the years.”
A household name among hockey fans, many of Jeanneret's dramatic calls – most famously his iconic “May Day! May Day!” following a Brad May playoff goal – are considered among the best in NHL history.
CANUCKS SIGN TRIO
The Vancouver Canucks have signed centres Dustin Jeffrey and Cal O'Reilly, as well as defenceman Bobby Sanguinetti.
Jeffrey, 26, had two goals and four points in 34 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars last season. He also had seven goals and five assists in 19 American Hockey League playoff games with the Texas Stars, Dallas' AHL affiliate.
O'Reilly, 27, had one assist in 14 games with Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League and 45 points in 52 games with the Utica Comets, the Canucks' AHL team. O'Reilly last played in the NHL in the 2011-12 season, suiting up for 33 games with the Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes and Penguins.
Sanguinetti, 26, had two goals and five assists in 15 games with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL. Selected by the New York Rangers with the 21st pick of the 2006 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound defender has two goals and four assists in 45 NHL games with the Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes. He last played in the NHL in 2012-13 with the Hurricanes.
WINGS RE-SIGN QUINCEY
The Detroit Red Wings have re-upped defenceman Kyle Quincey on Wednesday, signing him to a two-year contract extension.
Quincey, 28, has played in a total of 375 NHL games between the Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings, recording 23 goals and 88 assists. The veteran defenceman has also skated in 43 NHL playoff games, tallying four assists.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pound Quincey spent the last three seasons in Detroit while recording 19 points in 136 games. Last season, the blueliner was one of two Red Wings to suit up in all 82 games.
Prior to joining Detroit, Quincey played three seasons in Colorado and one season in Los Angeles. Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round of the 2003 draft, Quincey turned pro during 2005-06 and made his NHL debut on Nov. 25, 2005.
RANGERS SIGN BOURQUE
The New York Rangers have inked free agent forward Chris Bourque.
The Boston University product was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the second round (No. 33) of the 2004 draft and split last season between Kazan Ak-Bars of the Kontinental Hockey League and EHC Biel of National League A in Switzerland. With Biel, Bourque tied for fourth on the team with four playoff goals.
In 51 NHL games with the Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, Bourque has two goals, eight points and 18 penalty minutes.
The 28-year-old winger is the son of Bruins great Ray Bourque and could be reunited with his younger brother, Ryan, a Rangers draft pick who has played the past three seasons with their American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford.
Bourque last played in North America in 2012-13, when he split the season between the Boston Bruins and their AHL affiliate in Providence. In 18 games with Boston that season, he set a career high with four points in 18 games.
FLYERS KEEP AKESON
Restricted free agent forward Jason Akeson has signed a one-year, two-way contract to remain with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Akeson had an assist in his only regular-season game in 2013-14, and had two goals and an assist in seven Stanley Cup playoff games.
He had 64 points in 70 games with the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, the third straight season he has led the team in scoring.
DEVILS RE-SIGN PAIR
The New Jersey Devils have renewed the contracts of two current players, forwards Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.
Financial terms were not disclosed on the contracts, but multiple reports have Gionta signing a two-year contract and Bernier signing for one year.
Gionta, 30, will be entering his fifth season with the Devils in 2014-15. He had four goals and 11 points in 66 games last season.
Bernier, 29, will be entering his fourth season with the Devils. He had three goals and 12 points in 78 games in 2013-14.
The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Joel Rechlicz to a one-year, two-way contract. Rechlicz, 27, had a goal and an assist in 25 games last season for the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate ... The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with defenceman Kyle Cumiskey on a one-year contract. Cumiskey, 27, recorded 28 points in 45 games last season with MODO of the Swedish Hockey League.