September 30, 2002

CBC, Ron MacLean fail to reach deal.: I, for one, am disappointed that MacLean will not be on Hockey Night in Canada this year. He is a class act who occasionally did some actual journalism (see the Bettman interviews) and one wonders where the CBC will find someone else who can stand up to Cherry. Who do you think is going to get the second seat on Coaches Corner?

posted by alex_reno to hockey at 11:43 PM - 11 comments

Brian Williams? Perish the thought! I didn't like Kelly Hrudey at first, but he's done a much better job lately and might be up to it. Personally, I find Scott Russell to be annoying at best. I wouldn't mind Chris Cuthbert, although I might get tired of that eager, almost puppy-dog vibe he projects. Perhaps they'll give it to one of the women they've hired for this year. (A woman host on HNIC? Times are changing.) Anyone know anything about Martine Gaillard or Brenda Irving? Do they have the gumption to handle Cherry? FWIW, a friend of mine worked with MacLean in Red Deer in the early 80s, and told me he was "the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet." (For you Americans trying to play along at home, that's our Don Cherry, not your Don Cherry, and our Brian Williams, not yours.)

posted by alex_reno at 12:12 AM on October 01, 2002

It's funny, but I think CBC would have been better off losing Don Cherry than Ron MacLean. They have someone ready to take Grapes' spot in Kelly Hrudey. He's smart, he's funny, he looks a bit weird and he has no problem sporting a tough opinion. He's just a bit quieter than Cherry but he's worked with MacLean before and they were excellent. I don't see anyone (except maybe Cuthbert) that could possibly take the roll that Ron had. No one else has the intelligence, wit, demeanor and respect that Ron has, especially with Cherry. The cynic in me sees this as something the CBC could easily turn into a ratings bonanza. Sign MacLean to a deal at the 11th hour before the first Saturday night game and he swoops into the studio on a wave of fanfare and publicity. Cherry greets him with a hug, berates him for almost ruining everything and everyone is happy.

posted by grum@work at 07:04 AM on October 01, 2002

alex_reno, I'm a little insulted by that. I've been watching coach for years. (and Grapes is everybody's Don Cherry.)

posted by tj at 07:15 AM on October 01, 2002

This sure is crappy. Here's hoping they don't replace him with that snotty, balding Scott who always looks like he'd rather be covering a wine-tasting.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:51 AM on October 01, 2002

jim van horne. no question, he's got the humour, personality and tact to pull it off. and he's free, now that the The Team radio network's toast. walt

posted by shawnaga at 10:22 AM on October 01, 2002

fabulon7, I don't know. I think Grapes would be giving that guy at least one forearm shivver-- it'd be worth it, if they televised it.

posted by tj at 03:15 PM on October 01, 2002

No offence intended, tj, although the other Don Cherry is quite famous, if dead, in his circle. I think grum's scenario of a last-minute deal with MacLean is quite conceivable, as I'm sure the letters of support for Ron are pouring into the CBC right now. However when Dave Hodge was canned after the infamous pencil-flipping incident, they didn't bring him back. Van Horne wouldn't be bad. Ha, and Grapes pulling Scott Russell's suit jacket over his head and giving him an old-fashioned AHL pounding, I'd pay money to see that.

posted by alex_reno at 05:17 PM on October 01, 2002

Imagine: Coach's Corner featuring Don Cherry...and Michael Landsberg.

posted by Succa at 07:56 PM on October 01, 2002

You're sick, Succa.

posted by alex_reno at 01:58 AM on October 02, 2002

Well, the other thing R. MacLean does is treat every amateur sporting event and athlete with equivalent respect, including disabled athletes. Seems to have sufficient knowledge of every imaginable sport to carry out credible on-field interviews. Lord knows how. And he looks delightfully like Greg Graffin of Bad Religion.

posted by joeclark at 08:11 PM on October 02, 2002

He's baaaack.

posted by mcwetboy at 08:32 AM on October 04, 2002

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