Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/08/12 at 10:36 PM ET
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Soon, as negotiations to renew Hockey Night In Canada’s contract with the National Hockey League commence, a determination on the future of Cherry and the ever-popular Coach’s Corner segment will have to be made.
It may, in fact, be forced.
When Burke went behind Cherry’s back and made it clear to his NHL brethren that he no longer wanted Cherry on the large Hockey Night stage he found he had surprising support for the concept. He wasn’t alone in wanting the outspoken Cherry silenced. There is a sense within the NHL that Hockey Night, and in particular host Ron MacLean and Cherry, are too combative, too critical, too agenda driven for the NHL’s liking.
If this is the league’s signature program, they, like some of their friends at CBC, would prefer it to be more vanilla. Less spice.
So here’s the CBC dilemma: Cherry remains its ratings grabber. Large as the game may be, he still commands attention far beyond the game itself and long after Saturday night is over. It’s six days after game night and his anti-Burke rant is still a trending topic of conversation.
I’ve always felt in instances like this the public can make the decision not to watch if they so desire, but ratings seem to prove otherwise, they are watching and probably still complaining.
Who’s to say replacements would be better.
With Don Cherry, who knows, he just may decide to hang it up on his own as his 80th birthday is approaching.
Ron MacLean, I see no reason to remove him. Right now, he is HNIC and even thinking of replacing him should not even be considered.
He is a professional, can discuss numerous topics and unlike many TV hosts, he does his homework and keeps his finger on the pulse of all things NHL.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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