The 2012-13 Sabres schedule has been called player-friendly and coach-friendly, but today we can also call it broadcaster-friendly. On this morning's episode of Sabres Hockey Hotline on WGR, the Buffalo Sabres announced that Rick Jeanneret has asked the team to broadcast all 82 games for the Sabres this season.
In previous years, Jeanneret had reduced his broadcast schedule to allow for more time off, with various announcers from Kevin Sylvester to Rick's son Mark Jeanneret filling in during the team's long road trips. However, due to Buffalo's very favorable schedule in this upcoming season, Jeanneret asked the team if he could once again broadcast every game next year.
Here is Jeanneret, from Sabres.com:
There were several factors that entered the equation. I guess one is that I feel pretty good. That was number one. Number two – I looked at the schedule and it was the best one I’ve seen in years as far as I’m concerned. You’re still traveling as many miles, and you’re still going to as many games obviously. But by cutting back on the back-to-backers, that’s going to make a huge difference. It certainly played an enormous part in my decision.
RJ had, in years past, used the 10-game West Coast swings to take some vacation time and get away, but with the longest road trip for the team being four games this year, as well as the aforemention reduced number of back-to-backs, he obviously felt that the schedule allowed him to call the full season while staying healthy and feeling good.
This is a special consideration for the upcoming season, with Jeanneret saying that "all the dominoes fell into place," but he admitted that he's not sure how thing will shake out in the future. However, for the upcoming season, Sabres fans can look forward to a full season of the best voice in hockey.
Jeanneret will be honored by (not inducted into) the Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award later this year.