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Buffalo Sabres switch broadcast duties for next season

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blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black announced a slew of changes to the team’s broadcast structure on Monday evening, a club press release reports.

Instead of contributing from ice level, former Sabres enforcer Rob Ray will replace Harry Neale as the Sabres’ color commentator, partnering with 40-year play-by-play veteran Rick Jeanneret. Ray’s comfort on-air improved noticeably last season, proving he was ready for a more significant role.

Pre-game, post-game and intermission host Kevin Sylvester saw his responsibilities change the most, as he’ll take over a two-hour segment on WGR 550—holder of the Sabres’ radio rights—for a Monday-through-Friday segment called Sabres Hockey Hotline. The show will be broadcast from the Sabres Store in the First Niagara Center, and it will replace “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd on WGR’s schedule. That, folks, is an improvement.

“I have a tremendous passion for Sabres hockey and for broadcasting, so I’m excited to move ahead with this new opportunity and contribute across multiple media platforms,” Sylvester said in the release. “Sabres Hockey Hotline is just another example of how the organization is engaging fans to make them feel part of the fabric of Sabres hockey.”

Brian Duff will occupy Sylvester’s previous role as host of pre-game, post-game and intermission coverage on MSG, where he’ll be aided by Danny Gare, Mike Robitaille and Neale.

It was also announced at yesterday’s Sabres Blogger Summit that five blogs would receive limited post-game locker room access next season. These include 3rd Man In, Queen City Sports, Buffalo Wins, Die By the Blade and Sabres Hockey Central. Last season, no blogs were granted access to the Sabres’ locker room.

Clearly, the moves represent more of a shake-up or restructuring rather than any personnel additions or subtractions. Do you approve of the Sabres’ broadcast switches? Is the Razor ready for a full-time color commentary role? 

TAGGED: brian duff, buffalo sabres, kevin sylvester, msg hockey, rick jeanneret, rob ray, sabres broadcast, sabres tv

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  1. montag June 12, 2012 @ 10:25am

    I hope that the change was at Harry’s request, he has forgotten more about hockey than Ray ever knew and can say it better. If the Mgt. is going to keep Ruff & Regier then the choice of Rob Ray makes perfect sense. I hope he continues his speaking lessons.

  2. Ben Tsujimoto June 12, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Thanks for the comment! I wasn’t a fan of Ray’s broadcast ability over the last few years, but I’ll admit that he’s at least gotten better, especially over the second half of this past season.

    Would you have been satisfied with Harry continuing the color commentary duties?

    Ben Tsujimoto's avatar