Penalty parade annoys MacLean

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:17 PM ET

While many are over the moon about the new NHL, Ron MacLean doesn't necessarily fall into that camp.

The popular Hockey Night in Canada host loves the shootout and can handle smaller goalie equipment but he said he can live without the endless parade to the penalty box.

"The game is played at a frantic pace in a small environment and contact's inevitable. You can't just say in black and white that you can't put a stick on another player's body or it's a penalty," said MacLean, 45, who grew up in Red Deer and now lives in Oakville, Ont.

"You can't do it or you're going to be calling goofy penalties all night ... When (Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner) Bryan McCabe is leading the scoring race, that should be a tip-off that all is not above board."

Meanwhile, MacLean -- who was in town to emcee last night's Second Annual Business Hall of Fame inductions -- said he sympathizes with Calgary Flames fans who had hoped the club would be streaking out of the gate.

"You can't lose a Marty Gelinas and Craig Conroy. When you break up your No. 1 line, it's a huge adjustment," he said.

"Those are heart and soul guys that left and now you bring in the new guys and hope they do the job.

"I thought the line of Chuck Kobasew, Matt Lombardi and Steven Reinprecht was just getting into sync until, unfortunately, Matt got hurt (ankle). That's huge. You need that second line to give relief to the Jarome Iginla line."

MacLean recalls how it took time for the Flames to get fired up in 2003-04, when they turned it on in mid-November following the deal with San Jose that brought Miikka Kiprusoff to Calgary.

And Maclean doesn't have Kipper in his hockey pool because he doesn't get into pools.

"I try to stay out because I don't ever want to get into the trap of seeing how my guys did when I'm doing the scores on Hockey Night in Canada," he said.

"So I've stayed out of them as a matter of principle."


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