The longtime Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer, Rick Jeanneret, has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

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BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo Sabres confirm reports that broadcasting legend Rick Jeanneret has been diagnosed with throat cancer. The 71-year-old reportedly will undergo radiation therapy and plans to return to the broadcast booth.

Jeanneret tells The Buffalo News a golf ball-sized growth in his throat was malignant, but doctors tell him his chance of recovery is 85 percent.

The Sabres released the following statement about Jeanneret:

The Buffalo Sabres are deeply saddened to learn of Rick Jeanneret's cancer diagnosis. RJ has been a vital part of the Sabres family and the Buffalo community for 43 years and this news undoubtedly weighs heavily on everyone who has had the privilege of listening to his broadcasts through the years. As he begins treatment in the coming weeks, we will continue to keep RJ, his wife, Sandra, his mother, Kay, his sister, Marcia, his children, Mark and Chris, his stepdaughter, Shelly, and his grandchildren in our thoughts. We wish RJ a full and speedy recovery and know his tenacity will serve him well in his fight. On behalf of the Jeanneret family, the Sabres are asking for respect of the family's privacy as RJ undergoes treatment—.... The team has also set up a dedicated email address, GetWellRJ@sabres.com, for fans to send well-wishes and notes of encouragement.

Under the terms of the three-year-contract he signed last season, Jeanneret is scheduled to do the Sabres play-by-play for 47 games this season.

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