Finally getting your big break and calling games at the highest level your sport has to offer is a daunting enough task. Making that step up to the ‘next’ and highest level is difficult for anyone involved in the game, whether you’re a player, coach, official or broadcaster. However the task becomes next to impossible when your new job involves following a legend, a revered personality and fan favourite.
That’s the task that Dan Dunleavy has been faced with this season as the transition from the legendary, and retiring Rick Jeanneret continues for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Jeanneret has been calling games in Buffalo since the 70’s, almost as long as the Sabres have been in the NHL.
So following a legend of sportscasting is a tall order, not to mention following the longest tenured broadcaster in the National Hockey League. But it’s the challenge for Dunleavy this past season, and moving forward. BuffaloNews.com has a great article on that relationship and how the Sabres are finally moving on from “RJ”.
Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Dan Dunleavy has the most difficult job in local media: He is compared to the legendary broadcaster he splits the 82-game National Hockey League season with – Rick Jeanneret. That’s what made a message that Dunleavy received so special after his most memorable call of the season.
“Eichel carries, Kane BURIES,” exclaimed Dunleavy after Jack Eichel assisted Evander Kane on a game-winning goal. “Rick texted me,” recalled Dunleavy during a recent interview. “‘Great call on the winner.’ I texted him, ‘From anybody, this means the most.'”
Since adding the Eichel-Kane call to his earlier naming of the Eichel Tower after the Sabres star scores, it has been easier to warm up to Dunleavy and appreciate his solid work when Jeanneret takes off.
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