Skip to main content

Strombo Night In Canada

I think a lot of people were caught off guard this week by the announcement of George Stromboulopoulos as the new host of Hockey Night in Canada.

I have a lot of respect for Stromboulopoulos. I consider him to be one of the best interviewers I've ever known. No matter what the topic he comes across as well informed and genuinely interested. He is smart, sharp and witty.

Now I have to admit I was initially skeptical. Will Strombo show up wearing his ear and nose rings and a Ramones t-shirt? Okay, probably not, be he certainly won't be wearing the old company baby-blue blazer, either. But that's the thing about Strombo. He's gotten everyone to look past the spikey hair and the MuchMusic presentation to realize he is not only Mr. Charisma but the hardest working man in the business. He will earn your respect. But he might have his work cut out for him with such an entrenched show like HNIC, with it's 60 years of history.

And, unbeknownst to many who know him as a rocker turned news personality, Strombo actually got his start in the business in sports. He worked for Bob McCown and the boys at Toronto's FAN 590 radio station before quickly moving on to his own radio stardom that led to television opportunities with MuchMusic, CBC and CNN.

Stromboulopoulos replaces Ron MacLean. MacLean has a huge following but his exit is long overdue. Long ago MacLean forgot his role as host as he turned Hockey Night in Canada into his own personal soap box. He also seemed to think he was bigger than the show itself. Only Don Cherry is allowed to think that - partially because he actually is.

MacLean does stay and will continue to host Cherry's Coach's Corner segment where Cherry is sure to keep him in line. Besides, Cherry is less likely to ever correctly pronounce Stromboulopoulos as I am to ever spell it without triple checking.

MacLean will also host Hockey Day in Canada festivities and similar celebrations, as well as figure prominently in a new Sunday show Hometown Hockey largely aimed at grass roots. Those are MacLean's strengths, though the return of Scott Russell in similar roles would have been welcomed.

No word on other changes in store for Hockey Night in Canada. There probably won't be too many fans disappointed if P.J. Stock and Glenn Healy disappear. Hopefully Elliotte Friedman is given a much larger role.

I do hope they keep Bob Cole in the rotation if only because his iconic voice is such an institution. I also hope they keep the Punjabi broadcasts alive. I have no idea how profitable that operation is but it is a great vehicle for hockey and Canada, giving our great game to new generations of Canadians.

Daren Millard and Jeff Marek were also announced as Roger's new hosts of Wednesday and Thursday night broadcasts, respectively.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M