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Sabres Hockey Network

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The Sabres Hockey Network is the official radio and television broadcast network of the Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League .-Founding and early success: 1970-71—1980-81:...

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

. The network is currently operated jointly by the Sabres and by Entercom Communications
Entercom Communications
Entercom Communications Corporation is the fourth-largest broadcasting company in the United States. As of November 2009, Entercom operates 110 radio stations in 23 markets across the United States....

.

Rick Jeanneret
Rick Jeanneret
Richard "Rick" Jeanneret is the television and radio play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network. Having started with the team on radio during the 1971–72 season, he is the longest-tenured announcer in the NHL...

 is the network's primary play-by-play voice and has served in that capacity since 1971, with Harry Neale
Harry Neale
Harold Watson Neale is a hockey colour commentator, who currently works for the Buffalo Sabres on the Sabres Hockey Network...

 currently serving as color commentator. Mike Robitaille
Mike Robitaille
Michael James David Robitaille is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman. He played in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks...

 fills in as commentator when Neale has other duties or is ill; if Jeanneret is ill or has the night off, Kevin Sylvester
Kevin Sylvester (broadcaster)
Kevin Sylvester is the alternate television and radio play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network...

 handles play-by-play while Neale and Rob Ray
Rob Ray
Robert John Ray, nicknamed Rayzor is a Canadian sports broadcaster and former professional ice hockey player. He was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy by the National Hockey League in 1999 for leadership and humanitarianism....

 split color commentary. In the 2008-2009 season, former Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their home games at Jobing.com Arena....

/Winnipeg Jets broadcaster Curt Keilback covered for Jeanneret during the team's western road trip. In the 2009-2010 season, the Sabres did not send their television broadcast crew on the western road trip and used the local broadcasts of the Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their home games at Jobing.com Arena....

, Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks are a professional ice hockey team based in Anaheim, California, USA. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

, Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

 and Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, :British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena, formerly known as General Motors Place,...

 as the "home" broadcast. Jeanneret and Neale will have reduced duties for 2011–2012, with the duo only handling home games and a third of the road games; Kevin Sylvester
Kevin Sylvester (broadcaster)
Kevin Sylvester is the alternate television and radio play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network...

 and Danny Gare
Danny Gare
Daniel Mirl Gare is a retired National Hockey League player, most notably of the Buffalo Sabres. During a 14-year professional career, Gare also played for the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers. He was a two-time All-Star right winger who twice scored 50 goals for the Buffalo Sabres,...

 will handle broadcasts of the remaining games that season.

The radio network's postgame show is hosted by WGR personality Brian Koziol. Mike Schopp
Mike Schopp
Mike Schopp is an American sports radio personality,. Mike was born and currently lives in Grand Island. He is the current afternoon co-host of the sports talk show Mike Schopp and The Bulldog which runs weekdays from 3-7 p.m. Eastern on WGR in Buffalo, New York and WROC in Rochester. His co-host...

 and Chris "Bulldog" Parker host the pre-game show, which airs only on WGR. On television, a pregame show and postgame show are broadcast, and hosted by Kevin Sylvester, Rob Ray
Rob Ray
Robert John Ray, nicknamed Rayzor is a Canadian sports broadcaster and former professional ice hockey player. He was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy by the National Hockey League in 1999 for leadership and humanitarianism....

 and Mike Robitaille
Mike Robitaille
Michael James David Robitaille is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman. He played in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks...

. (Prior to 2005, the television pregame-postgame shows were simulcast on radio. The postgame was known as Hockey Hotline and hosted by Robitaille, first with host Brian Blessing and then Josh Mora.)

The theme song for broadcasts has been the "Sabre Dance
Sabre Dance
"The Sabre Dance" is a movement in the final act of the ballet Gayane , written by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian's and completed in 1942. It evokes a whirling war dance in an Armenian dance, where the dancers display their skill with sabres. Its middle section incorporates an Armenian folk...

" by Aram Khachaturian
Aram Khachaturian
Aram Ilyich Khachaturian was a prominent Soviet composer. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical Russian music and Armenian folk music...

 since the team's debut. From the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs
2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs for the National Hockey League championship began on April 21, 2006, following the 2005–06 regular season. The sixteen teams that qualified, seeded one through eight from each conference, played best-of-seven series with re-seeding after the conference quarterfinals...

 through the 2009–10 season, the team used for its main theme an instrumental cut of "Hurricane 2000," an orchestral arrangement of the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane
Rock You Like a Hurricane
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" a song by the German heavy metal band Scorpions. The song was released as the second track of their 1984 album Love at First Sting.-Description:...

" recorded by Scorpions
Scorpions (band)
Scorpions are a heavy metal/hard rock band from Hannover, Germany, formed in 1965 by guitarist Rudolf Schenker, who is the band's only constant member. They are known for their 1980s rock anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and many singles, such as "No One Like You", "Send Me an Angel", "Still...

 and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
The Berlin Philharmonic, German: , formerly Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester , is an orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. In 2006, a group of ten European media outlets voted the Berlin Philharmonic number three on a list of "top ten European Orchestras", after the Vienna Philharmonic and the...

 on the album Moment of Glory
Moment of Glory
Moment of Glory is the fifteenth studio album by German heavy metal band Scorpions with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. At first the English composer Andrew Powell was asked to provide arrangements. As they would have reduced the orchestra too much, being only a symphonic accompaniment, both the...

. From the 1990s through 2006 the team used a custom-made theme. Beginning shortly after Terry Pegula
Terrence Pegula
Terrence M. "Terry" Pegula is an American businessman. Pegula founded East Resources, a natural gas drilling company, before selling the company to Royal Dutch Shell for approximately $4.7 billion....

's acquisition of the team, the song was changed back to "Sabre Dance." For the 2011-12 season, a hard-rock version of "Sabre Dance" rotates with MSG Network
MSG Network
The MSG Network, now shortened to simply MSG, is a regional cable television and radio network serving the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is focused on New York City sports teams...

's standard hockey theme as the theme for the Sabres Hockey Network broadcasts.

Current Radio Network

  • WGR
    WGR
    WGR, or WGR Sports Radio 550, is an all sports radio station in Buffalo, New York that broadcasts on 550 AM. It is the flagship station of the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits, and is currently the only full-time sports talk station in the city of Buffalo. Its studios are located in Amherst,...

     550 AM Buffalo, New York (flagship station)
  • WKSE
    WKSE
    WKSE is a Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40 Mainstream station serving the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region of Western New York. The station's transmitter is located on Grand Island, New York...

    -HD2 98.5-2 FM Niagara Falls, New York (WGR simulcast)
  • WBEN
    WBEN
    WBEN may refer to:* WBEN , a radio station licensed to Buffalo, New York, United States* WBEN-FM, a radio station licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States...

     930 AM Buffalo, New York (playoff games only)
  • WLKK
    WLKK
    WLKK is an American radio station located in Wethersfield, New York. Broadcasting on the frequency of 107.7 MHz, the station is currently owned by Entercom Communications and is operated out of the company's studios in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo...

     107.7 Wethersfield, New York (playoff games only, WBEN simulcast)
  • WCMF
    WCMF
    WCMF-FM is a radio station located in the Rochester, New York area and broadcasts at 96.5 FM. Its transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton, Monroe County, New York....

     96.5 FM Rochester, New York
  • WROC
    WROC (AM)
    WROC is an AM radio station licensed to Rochester, New York. On September 2, 2008, WROC changed from an Air America affiliate to an ESPN affiliate...

     950 AM Rochester, New York (regular season games only)
  • WQFX
    WQFX-FM
    WQFX-FM is a radio station licensed to Russell, Pennsylvania, the station serves the Jamestown, NY and Warren, PA areas. 103.1 The Fox is playing the rock music you want to hear: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, ELO, Black Sabbath, Guns N' Roses, Ozzy and...

     103.1 FM Russell, Pennslylvania (Jamestown, NY/Warren, PA area)
  • WMXO
    WMXO
    WMXO is a radio station licensed to and located in Olean, NY. The station broadcasts at 101.5 MHz and plays a Hot Adult Contemporary format. The station is currently owned by the Pembrook Pines Media Group and features programing from Jones Radio Network, Premiere Radio Networks and Westwood...

     101.5 FM Olean, New York
  • WBTA
    WBTA
    WBTA is a radio station broadcasting a Soft Adult Contemporary format. Licensed to Batavia, New York, USA, the station is the only one directly serving Genesee County and in general serves the area between Rochester and Buffalo. The station is owned by Hpl Communications, Inc...

     1490 AM Batavia, New York
  • WDOE
    WDOE
    WDOE is an AM radio station located in Dunkirk, New York. It is owned by Alan Bishop and George Kimble, who also own sister station WBKX in Fredonia, and operates on a frequency of 1410 kHz....

     1410 AM Dunkirk, New York

Television


The Sabres Hockey Network airs on MSG Network
MSG Network
The MSG Network, now shortened to simply MSG, is a regional cable television and radio network serving the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is focused on New York City sports teams...

 throughout Upstate New York; the team and network are contracted for 70 games, with the play-by-play and commentary simulcasted over video. The other 12 air only on the radio half of the network, including all games broadcast on the league's national outlets. Games against the New York Rangers
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the...

, New York Islanders
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 or New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils are a professional ice hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey, United States. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 (other hockey teams to which MSG owns TV rights) will carry the Sabres Hockey Network feed on the SAP of MSG or MSG Plus
MSG Plus
MSG Plus is a regional sports network in the New York City metropolitan area, whose reach expands to cover the entire state of New York, Northern New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, and Northeastern Pennsylvania. The network was rebranded on March 10, 2008.Like its sister network, MSG, it is...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and the surrounding areas. MSG and the Sabres have an agreement to carry Sabres games through 2016. The Sabres also have the capabilities to broadcast preseason home games on the team's Web site.

On DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

, channel 638 (and 638-1 for HD games) is used exclusively for Sabres games.

In the past, single games were sold to one of the Buffalo broadcast stations (WGRZ-TV
WGRZ-TV
WGRZ, virtual channel 2 , is the NBC-affiliated television station in Buffalo, New York. Its studio is located at 259 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo. Its transmitter is located at 11530 Warner Hill Road in South Wales, New York...

, WIVB-TV
WIVB-TV
WIVB-TV, virtual channel 4, is the CBS-affiliated television station for Western New York that is licensed to Buffalo. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 from a transmitter on Center Street in Colden. Owned by the LIN TV Corporation, the station is sister to CW...

 and WKBW-TV
WKBW-TV
WKBW-TV, channel 7, is the ABC affiliate for the Buffalo, New York television market, and is one of many local Buffalo TV stations seen over-the-air and on cable in Canada. Its transmitter is located at 8909 Center Street in Colden. The station is owned by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, who...

), usually games played on Saturdays. This has not happened since MSG took over the broadcast contract. Due to a dispute between MSG and Dish Network
Dish Network
Dish Network Corporation is the second largest pay TV provider in the United States, providing direct broadcast satellite service—including satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services—to 14.337 million commercial and residential customers in the United States. Dish...

, Sabres games are not available on that medium.

Games carried by Versus
Versus (TV channel)
Versus is a sports-oriented cable television channel in the United States. It was previously known as Outdoor Life Network and was launched on July 1, 1995, focusing on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports...

, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, and CBC Television
CBC Television
CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster.Although the CBC is supported by public funding, the television network supplements this funding with commercial advertising revenue, in contrast to CBC Radio which are...

 are not produced by the Sabres, and these television broadcasts are not considered to be part of the Sabres Hockey Network. The network produces "radio only" broadcasts for its terrestrial affiliates when a Versus or NBC game airs.

Personalities, Past and Present


Current:

Rick Jeanneret
Rick Jeanneret
Richard "Rick" Jeanneret is the television and radio play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network. Having started with the team on radio during the 1971–72 season, he is the longest-tenured announcer in the NHL...

, TV and radio play-by-play (home games)

Harry Neale
Harry Neale
Harold Watson Neale is a hockey colour commentator, who currently works for the Buffalo Sabres on the Sabres Hockey Network...

, TV and radio color commentator (home games)

Rob Ray
Rob Ray
Robert John Ray, nicknamed Rayzor is a Canadian sports broadcaster and former professional ice hockey player. He was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy by the National Hockey League in 1999 for leadership and humanitarianism....

, bench reporter (home games) and TV studio analyst (away games)

Kevin Sylvester
Kevin Sylvester (broadcaster)
Kevin Sylvester is the alternate television and radio play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network...

, TV studio host (home games), TV and radio play-by-play (away games)

Mike Robitaille
Mike Robitaille
Michael James David Robitaille is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman. He played in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks...

, TV studio analyst, fill-in color commentator

Danny Gare
Danny Gare
Daniel Mirl Gare is a retired National Hockey League player, most notably of the Buffalo Sabres. During a 14-year professional career, Gare also played for the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers. He was a two-time All-Star right winger who twice scored 50 goals for the Buffalo Sabres,...

, TV and radio color commentator (away games), fill-in studio analyst

Brian Duff, TV studio analyst

Past:

Ted Darling
Ted Darling
Edgar Lee "Ted" Darling , was the original "Voice of the Buffalo Sabres" ice hockey team for twenty-two seasons, calling the team's games on television from the team's inaugural season in 1970 to 1991...

, TV play-by-play (1970–1991)

Dave Hodge
Dave Hodge
Dave Hodge is a Canadian sports announcer who currently works for TSN, and has worked in the past for the CBC and CFRB 1010 radio in Toronto.-Broadcasting career:...

, radio play-by-play (1970–1971)

Jim Lorentz
Jim Lorentz
James Peter Lorentz, Jr. is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played 10 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. He won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 1970. He was the color analyst for the Sabres on the...

, color commentator (1981–2007)

Danny Gare, bench reporter (?-2004)

Brian Blessing, studio analyst (1995–2004)

John Gurtler
John Gurtler
John Gurtler II is an American sportscaster from Orchard Park, New York. He is most notable for having succeeded Ted Darling as television play-by-play announcer for the Buffalo Sabres, a position he held from 1992 until 1995...

, TV play-by-play (1991–1995)

Pete Weber
Pete Weber
Peter David "Pete" Weber, nicknamed “PDW”, , is a famous bowling professional on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. Weber is one of the sport's most popular active players and is well known for his maverick, rebellious personality...

, TV play-by-play (1995–1997)

Josh Mora, studio host

Miscellaneous notes


The Sabres radio network also simulcasts Schopp
Mike Schopp
Mike Schopp is an American sports radio personality,. Mike was born and currently lives in Grand Island. He is the current afternoon co-host of the sports talk show Mike Schopp and The Bulldog which runs weekdays from 3-7 p.m. Eastern on WGR in Buffalo, New York and WROC in Rochester. His co-host...

 and the Bulldog
to WROC in Rochester.

The Rochester situation is unique in that a different station carries regular season games than in the postseason. This is because WROC has a much weaker AM signal, and the network switched to FM station WBZA
WBZA
WBZA is a rock station in Rochester, New York, broadcasting at 98.9 FM. It is owned by Entercom Communications, who purchased the station from Sinclair Broadcasting in 1999...

 to maximize coverage during the postseason. In 2008, with Entercom's purchase of WCMF
WCMF
WCMF-FM is a radio station located in the Rochester, New York area and broadcasts at 96.5 FM. Its transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton, Monroe County, New York....

, Sabres games moved to that station instead.

Since 1997, the radio play-by-play has been simulcast on the station's cable partner (Empire Sports Network
Empire Sports Network
Empire Sports Network was a regional sports network on cable television which served upstate New York from Buffalo to Albany, parts of northern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio...

 from 1997 to 2004, and MSG Network
MSG Network
The MSG Network, now shortened to simply MSG, is a regional cable television and radio network serving the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is focused on New York City sports teams...

 from 2005 to the present). Prior to this, Ted Darling
Ted Darling
Edgar Lee "Ted" Darling , was the original "Voice of the Buffalo Sabres" ice hockey team for twenty-two seasons, calling the team's games on television from the team's inaugural season in 1970 to 1991...

 was the team's television play-by-play voice, though he was forced to retire due to Pick's disease
Pick's disease
Pick's disease, is a rare neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain. Symptoms include loss of speech , and dementia. While some of the symptoms can initially be alleviated, the disease progresses and patients often die within two to ten years...

 in 1991. John Gurtler did TV play-by-play from 1991 to 1995, and Pete Weber handled those duties from that point until 1997. Unlike most shows on MSG Network
MSG Network
The MSG Network, now shortened to simply MSG, is a regional cable television and radio network serving the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is focused on New York City sports teams...

, the Sabres control all television broadcasts of their games.

External links