Don’t look now but… hockey’s back, baby!
Six teams officially hit the ice yesterday with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Philadelphia Flyers on NBC Sports and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, as well as the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames doing battle on Sportsnet and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC).
Of course, with HNIC returning to the airwaves that means the return of broadcasting legend Don Cherry! Oh… wait… no it doesn’t.
Cherry, of course, was unceremoniously dumped by Sportsnet and CBC for his now infamous “you people” rant which condemned Canadians who choose not to wear a poppy to honour Canadian veterans during the month of November. Honestly, it’s not worth rehashing the controversy and how everything played out… just know that Cherry is out and most of his supporters place a lot of the blame at the feet of Cherry’s longtime sidekick and HNIC host Ron MacLean.
MacLean declined to back Cherry during the controversial firing and some feel that he even helped get Cherry pushed out the door by condemning his Coaches Corner partner’s words.
So, Grapes wasn’t back on HNIC last night by MacLean certainly was and hockey fans across Canada took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with some even calling for MacLean’s resignation.
Check out some of these comments:
Ouch… tough crowd, eh Ron?
I have to say that personally I couldn’t care one way or another if MacLean resigned or stayed on as host of HNIC. I actually enjoy him as a host if only for nostalgic reasons, but I can understand why some hockey fans are calling for his head. It’s not all that different from the people who called for Cherry’s head after the “you people” rant.
I’m an old school hockey fan and I love me a good, old fashioned Grapes rant. I’ve been watching Ron and Don on my television since before I can even remember, so of course I wasn’t too thrilled when Cherry was forced off the air. But the thing is… I get it. Cherry’s rant didn’t offend me personally, but I can understand how it could offend others and I’m not going to sit here and tell people what should or shouldn’t offend them. That’s not a fight that I’m not interested in having, thanks very much…
As for MacLean’s future on HNIC, again I’m pretty impartial, but if support for his resignation continues then don’t be surprised if Sportsnet and CBC give him the “Grapes treatment.”