A Salute to Ted Darling

“He shoots – he scoooores!”

We tend to talk a lot about Rick Jeanneret as the “voice of the Buffalo Sabres.” But as RJ will be the first to point out to any interviewer, the real voice behind the franchise was Ted Darling.

We’ve done plenty of posts involving RJ, and more recently a look at Kevin Sylvester and Mark Jeanneret. It’s about time we did a little tribute to the late, great Ted Darling.

For those of you too young to recall his voice – or for those who missed out on him entirely, you’re in for a real treat.

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Darling, (pictured upper left) with young broadcastin' bucks Rick Jeanneret, Mike Robitaille, and Jim Lorentz.

From the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame:

The career of Edgar Lee “Ted” Darling, the long time Voice of the Sabres, can be best summed by the number of honors he received in a life and career cut short by Pick’s Disease. He was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame; is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, having been honored with the prestigious Foster Hewitt Award; and has the press box at HSBC Arena named in his memory. Ted joined the Sabres in their inaugural season after having spent time with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada as an intermission host. Darling spent the next quarter century in the gondola, entertaining Western New York’s hockey minions with his play-by-play over WGR, WBEN, WNYB-TV, and several cable outfits, including the Empire Sports Network.

Not unlike RJ, Darling had a real knack for creative and exciting play calling.  Here’s a list of some of Ted’s fan favorites from his tenure up in the gondola:

  • “He shoots – he scooooores!”
  • “Ohhhhh – CROZIER!”
  • “And – ahhhhhhhhh – Perreault over the line…”
  • “Those aren’t boos you’re hearing, the fans here at the Aud are saying “Luuuuce!”
  • “I’m sure the “gendarmes” (security) will assist that fan.”
  • “And Martin says ‘thank you’ and goes the other way!”
  • “Next up on the ‘shedule…'”

And everyone’s favorite:

  • “The puck is up and over the glass, and that’s now in the hands of a happy fan from Angola.”

Endearing, to say the least, how he always “knew” where all those happy fans came from.

One quick factoid before we head on to some Youtube links: When the Blizzard of ’77 hit, Darling called a game between the Sabres and Montreal Canadiens from his apartment – phoning in his commentary while watching the action on his television.

And now, for your listening and viewing pleasure:

1979: Jaques Richard scores off of a Tony McKegney rebound.

1986: Perreault’s 501st (scored against Alain Chevrier, who let in Perreault’s 500th in an earlier game).

1991: Darrin Shannon “shoots and scoooores.”

Darling was relieved of his duties in 1991 due to worsening Pick’s disease, to which he eventually succumbed in 1996. His legacy will live on though, as RJ loves to remind us, as the first and foremost “voice of the Buffalo Sabres.”

Go Sabres.

See Also: “Mark Jeanneret: A Sabres Sampling;” “Kevin Sylvester and Danny Gare to Call Games…