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Cancer-free, Jeanneret to call Sabres game on Saturday

Rick Jeanneret, Dale Hawerchuk

Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame Class of 2012 inductees Rick Jeanneret, left, and Dale Hawerchuk, right, salute the crowd before an NHL hockey game between the Sabres and the Winnipeg Jets in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)


There haven’t been many bright spots for the Sabres this year, but here’s a big one -- on Saturday, Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will return to the booth for the first time since undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

More, from the Buffalo News:

Jeanneret, who was diagnosed with throat cancer over the summer and told a TV audience last week that he was cancer-free, said this morning that he plans to call one period of Saturday’s game and has a four-game, 12-day plan to get his energy level up to work a full game by Thanksgiving Eve.

“I’m going to do a period Saturday and no more than that,” said the 72-year-old Jeanneret. “I don’t know how my voice will hang on. There is only one way to find out. There is no way to practice it.”

If all goes well, Jeanneret’s plan is to work another period at Tuesday’s home game with San Jose and work two periods of games on Friday, Nov. 21 against the New York Rangers at home and the Washington Capitals on the road on Nov. 22.

“If it is good after that, let it rip,” said Jeanneret.

Jeanneret, a member of both the Buffalo and Hockey Halls of Fame, had announced prior to his cancer diagnosis that he’d retire from play-by-play duties following the 2015-16 campaign.

“The time seems right to slowly begin transitioning back to work,” Jeanneret said, in a release. “My doctors have told me I’m cancer free and I’m feeling well enough to get back in the booth, even if it’s only on a limited basis for the time being.

“The kindness and well-wishes from everyone, especially Sabres fans and the Western New York community, has been overwhelming and I’m truly grateful for the tremendous support during this process.”