Hockey Night in Canada might have a different look next season, but it’s going to feel awfully familiar for Canadian hockey fans.
According to the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk, Rogers is set to replace Hockey Night host George Stroumboulopoulos with Ron MacLean, who Stroumboulopoulos had replaced in the host’s chair when the iconic program became part of the Rogers broadcast family. Stroumboulopoulos took over as host on the tail of his successful CBC interview show, and the hope was ‘Strombo’ would draw in and appeal to a younger audience.
The change hasn’t been made official by Rogers, and Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet, told Feschuk that at this point the reports of the switch back to MacLean are “simply speculation,” adding that no plans have been finalized for the 2016-17 season.
However, if the swap is made and Stroumboulopoulos is out as the host, it will mean he lasted only two seasons as the face of the program. There are no details regarding the possibility of Stroumboulopoulos continuing with the Hockey Night broadcast in any other capacity.
As for MacLean, his return would see him inch closer to 30 years as the host of the program. MacLean’s original run as the host began in 1986 and continued until 2014, at which point he was replaced by Stroumboulopoulos.
MacLean has remained with Hockey Night, though, working the first intermission with Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner and MacLean was host of the Sunday evening Hometown Hockey broadcasts. Cherry recently signed a multi-year deal to remain a part of Hockey Night, and MacLean, his longtime sidekick, will remain in the role.
MacLean told Feschuk that he is committed to fulfilling his duties on Coach’s Corner and Hometown Hockey, but wouldn’t comment on the report that he was set to take over hosting duties once again.