Sportsnet/CBC makes a decision on Ron MacLean's future
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Sportsnet/CBC makes a decision on Ron MacLean's future

Thoughts? Time to officially hang 'em up?



Yesterday Sportsnet quietly announced that they are cancelling Rogers Hometown Hockey after eight seasons. 

The program, which saw host Ron MacLean and co-host Tara Slone travel across the Canada in an effort to promote the country's most far flung hockey communities, is now down after making 160 stops in nearly a decade. A Sportsnet spokesperson said “the time is simply right to bring it to a natural close and explore new broadcast opportunities, expand our storytelling capabilities and evolve the viewer experience.”

With big time budget cuts expected to hit Sportsnet this offseason, Hometown Hockey was an easy choice to axe. The program was very costly seeing as how it was essentially a traveling road show with dozens of staff members required to put out the broadcast each week. As for the hosts, it's not yet known what will happen with Slone but MacLean is expected to stay on with Sportsnet for Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.

“I’ll be Saturday night, for sure,” he said. “That’s the one thing that I’ll sort of retain, and stay part of that.”

MacLean, who is in the final year of his contract thought, admitted that a new contract has not yet been finalized: “But we have it in — what is it they say? — in principle? For sure. We’re definitely committed to that.”

The 62 year old is also well aware that there have been rumours swirling about his on-air future, but he shakes his head at the notion that he'll retire.

“I don’t know where that gets started,” he said. “But it’s just every year that it seems to find its legs, and every year, it’s not true. I can’t speak for Sportsnet, but I can speak from my end: I just think it’s an exciting time to be around the game.”

In other words: Ron ain't goin' anywhere. For better or worse...

Personally, I grew up with MacLean as the voice of HNIC every week for years, but... his time has come. He's out of touch and sometimes just unbearable to listen to. I'd prefer he step aside for a younger voice, maybe someone like David Amber or Jeff Marek. I'll always appreciate MacLean for what he did, but at this point he's only tarnishing his legacy.

Source: Sportsnet