I have memories of being a kid and playing street hockey with friends in front of my house. We would play for hours. Even in the heat of June, July, August. We would play from noon to 8 pm at night.

One thing we always did after a great goal or save was mimic Rick Jeanneret’s calls. I think all hockey fans who grew up in Buffalo did that.

Jeanneret has been calling games for 51 years and on Friday, the organization honored RJ with a 15-minute ceremony for a sold-out KeyBank Center. RJ is retiring at season’s end.

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The Sabres played a few video during the night but started with this emotional video that highlighted all of Rick’s amazing calls through his career, helped by Sabres fans.

It brought all Sabres fans to tears.

I wasn’t around for May Day, unfortunately, but I think that’s his best call and one of the best calls in sports history — not just NHL history.

Dave Hannan, Rene Robert, Derek Plante, Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Steve Shields, Dominik Hasek, Stu Barnes, Miroslav Satan, Danny Briere, Chris Drury, Jason Pominville, Ryan Miller. All had amazing calls by RJ.

There was not a dry eye in the stand on Friday night. I hope RJ knows just how much he means to Sabres fans. He’s the reason so many of us love hockey and love the Sabres as much as we do. The organization and fan base might look very different without him.

Thank you, RJ.

Buffalo Sabres Goalie Masks

Buffalo Sabres Captains Since 2000

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