The Buffalo Sabres are still in the middle of hosting their third New Media Summit, but they started things off with a bang, announcing major changes to their broadcast team.
Rick Jeanneret will return with a new (multi-year!) contract and has pledged to broadcast more games next season than last, however, his partner in the booth next season will not be analyst Harry Neale, but fan favorite Rob Ray. Razor will be taking over for Neale as color commentator, while Neale will still have a role in the Sabres television broadcasts similar to what Danny Gare has right now. The organization did not say exactly how many more games Jeanneret would be calling this year than last year, nor who would be calling the games he decides to sit out.
Another big announcement was that of a new, Sabres-only show on WGR from 10am-noon, hosted by Kevin Sylvester. Dubbed Sabres Hockey Hotline, Sylvester's show, which begins on Monday, June 18, will replace Colin Cowherd and will be broadcast live from a new studio being put in the Sabres Store (Schopp and the Bulldog will also use this studio when their show is down at the arena.) Sabres Hockey Hotline will run M-F from 10-noon all year long, with the exception of football Mondays.
Replacing Sylvester as the host of the Sabres television broadcasts is Brian Duff, who has been hired by the Sabres full-time to be their host for pregame, postgame, and between period analysis. Mike Robitaille will return as Duff's co-host, and Harry Neale will join him pregame and between periods. Danny Gare will continue to pop up in the broadcast, but will also have a weekly segment on Sabres Hockey Hotline, as well as an online presence.
Those are some monster changes for how fans will interact with the Sabres next season, but personally I'm very happy with how everything has shaken out. What say you, Sabres fans?