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A Reduced Role For Ron MacLean

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Ron MacLean has been frozen out of the new version of Hockey Night In Canada. Literally.

While George Stroumboulopoulos will sit in the studio chair and take the starring role that once was his – ringmaster of the most popular show on Canadian television – MacLean will be looking in from the outside on Sunday nights. And even he admits his fractious relationship with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, which saw Bettman boycott Hockey Night after one particularly contentious interview in 2010, might have something to do with it....

But as the conversation continued – and the topic turned to the belief among his broadcasting colleagues that MacLean’s on-air clashes with Bettman played no small role in his reduced role – there were hints MacLean may not be quite as sanguine about the change as it seems. MacLean and Bettman usually butted heads over labour-management issues in the NHL. MacLean consistently took the players’ side during interviews because, he said, he firmly believed the league was better off with a strong NHL Players’ Association.

“Maybe that hurt me but I would gladly fall on my sword for that principle,” MacLean said. “But I don’t know that it had anything to do with [a reduced role]. It could have.”


The Globe and Mail also has two more relatede stories on Rogers, here regarding Hockey Night in Canada and this one on the new look of HNIC.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rogers, ron+maclean



“Maybe that hurt me but I would gladly fall on my sword for that principle”

A little bit dramatic there MacLean.  You are no martyr. 


Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 10/04/14 at 08:28 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

I have to admire his standing on principal. He has been an outspoken critic of the NHL when warranted. It’s refreshing to see a man actually man-up.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 10/04/14 at 09:28 AM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 10/04/14 at 08:28 AM ET

Ha!  And you’re no Ron MacLean.  What did you do to voice dissent to a totalitarian regime?  Post a sentence or two on a blog?  It most assuredly impacted his career in a negative way, and that’s juvenile and pathetic.  But let’s blame the victim instead.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 10/04/14 at 11:58 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

*Looks for a nice way to say, “I think that David Shoalts led MacLean on and did his best to play up a storyline that really didn’t matter all that much to the NHL”*


I will grant you that Bettman and MacLean had their sparring days, but MacLean was actually quite critical of the NHLPA after the second lockout, and his adversarial relationship with Bettman got less and less testy as time went on.

I don’t think that walking lock-step with league propaganda is nearly as important as Shoalts makes it out to be, though I can’t deny that ESPN and TSN toe the line. This is…Letting Ron MacLean find a way to voice his frustration and find a scapegoat that’s not his domineering takeovers of every damn panel discussion to explain why he’s being shifted to a support role under “Strombo’s” reign.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/04/14 at 12:44 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

This is so unfortunate.  I consider Ron MacLean to be heads and tails above any other hockey broadcaster.  His knowledge, level-headed professionalism and even delivery and insight will hopefully flourish elsewhere.  HNIC is surely in decline.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 10/04/14 at 03:20 PM ET

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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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