Skip to content

Strombo Benched: Is A New Host in the Offing for Hockey Night In Canada?

By Dominik Dutrisac (@kinimodd93)

Since the 2014 deal between Rogers and the NHL, Hockey Night In Canada has changed. Reports are now suggesting that Ron MacLean will be given back the HNIC mantle. For 28 years (from 1986 to 2014), viewers counted on Ron Maclean to bring them their Canadian hockey.

hockey

(courtesy of CBC)

After the mega-deal that gave Rogers the exclusive Canadian rights to the broadcast the NHL for 12 years, they faced a challenge. How could they revamp HNIC without taking away all of the things that Canadians loved? They decided to tweak the roster. The hosting duties for HNIC, which were long held by MacLean, were given to George Stroumboulopoulos. Suffice it to say, things became a bit different.

Stroumboulopoulos was brought onboard as a means to draw in younger, fresher blood to the HNIC audience. A good idea for sure, but that was never the root of the problem. With a Canadian institution like Hockey Night in Canada, viewers are frightful of change, especially when the show holds such a fond place in the hearts of Canadian hockey fans everywhere.

hockey 2

(Photo Credit: slam.canoe.com) 

The issue isn’t that Stroumboulopoulos did a bad job. Quite frankly, he brought a new element to the table from his time as an interviewer. This meant he could ask the right questions to get the discussion going, and as a fan, you could feel his passion for hockey during every broadcast. The main dilemma was that Maclean seemed to be so easily relegated from the position as host. Was it the lack of Canadian teams in the Playoffs that caused lower ratings? Possibly. Would it have been a better idea to have them co-host together, bring in new viewers while appeasing the old ones? Maybe. But for now we can only wait to see how this all plays out, and hopefully Ron and George both have a role to play in the future of Hockey Night In Canada.

Here’s what people on Humber College campus had to say: https://soundcloud.com/dom-possible/hnic-who-should-host )