Rogers Media today finally confirmed what’s been reported, that George Stroumboulopoulos has been let go as host of Hockey Night in Canada and Ron MacLean will return to the big chair on Saturday nights.
But also changing is a lot of other jobs in Sportsnet’s hockey broadcasting team, both national and regional broadcasts. Among them, in-game analyst Glenn Healy, studio analysts P.J. Stock, Billy Jaffe and Corey Hirsch, and regional game studio hosts Leah Hextall (Flames) and Chantal Desjardins (Canadiens).
Good to know I have options… pic.twitter.com/grihvfD1Ju
— Chantal Desjardins (@ChantalOnAir) June 28, 2016
Good thing my kids have a sense of humour. #anyoneneedagardiner? pic.twitter.com/LqywGZv7Up
— PJ Stock (@PJStockHNIC) June 28, 2016
Thrilled to join @espn as hockey returns to the Worldwide leader in Sports! I promise to play nice w/ Chelios? https://t.co/S5vQ4vgQff
— Leah Hextall (@leahhextall) June 27, 2016
Thanks for all the kind words and support. It's overwhelming. I loved my time at Sportsnet and will forever be thankful for the opportunity.
— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) June 27, 2016
Desjardins mainly hosted the regional Canadiens broadcasts from the Toronto studio, but would also work as a rinkside reporter during some national broadcasts.
Desjardins and Stock worked together at CHOM before getting jobs at Sportsnet. In 2010, they hosted the morning show with Pete Marier after Ted Bird left the station. Marier was also let go this past week.
The Globe and Mail reports Sportsnet will be airing national pregame shows instead of regional ones before regional hockey games, which would reduce the need for staff.
UPDATE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman offers a tribute to his dismissed colleagues at the end of this column.
Well no surprise here, the hockey knowledge and and Canadiana hockey history between Ron and Strombo was glaring.
I couldn’t figure out the move to diminish Ron McLean in the first place..
At 1st I was a little uncertain about Strombo as head of Hockey Night. As things progressed, I found that his style seemed to be more of allowing the other panelist to express themselves. He wasn’t the center of attention. McLean on the other hand, though has better hockey knowledge, seems too precent. And too much associated with the clown segment, Cherry & Mclean.
I think they’ve made a mistake. The panel presentations between periods this past year was excellent. You really felt it added to the game. Sorry to see it go. I really thought Strombo had improved a lot, and his style will be missed.
But, blaming your on camera people for the low ratings is just wrong. The problem with Roger’s Hockey presentation is the games they select to air in each market.
1 – Placing games on CBC & CITY on the same night, and time. They should have no Saturday night games on CITY. They should add a Friday, and Sunday games on CITY.
2 – Placing the same game on CBC and CITY on Saturday nights. And that usually was a game that involved Toronto. Makes no sense. It happened way to many times this past season.
3 – They need to place more home team games on either the CBC & CITY. And not bury certain teams into some cable sports channel that they own.
I think that last point is the key problem with why the ratings have dropped.
If I can’t find the game I can’t watch it…not going all over the place trying to find a game..period…the problem is not with staff…the problem is with Bettman and the owners…chasing the dollar has driven the fans away