TORONTO - Well, that was a slick way to move aside broadcasting legend Ron MacLean in favour of a younger, hipper host.
Is that what happened Monday?
That’s what it looks like.
After 28 years as the main host of Hockey Night in Canada, MacLean is moving to Sunday nights on Rogers’ CITY-TV while George Stroumboulopoulos will become the face of the big show.
MacLean will still appear in Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry. Then, on Sunday, MacLean will host a new broadcast they are calling Hometown Hockey.
But say goodbye to Ron and Don at ice level during playoff games with the crowd cheering. Strombo is the main man now.
Bold move? Out of the box? A slap in the face?
Anyway you slice it, the new HNIC starts off his current show on CBC with “welcome to the show. I’m your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos.”
He’s often wearing black jeans, a shirt with an open collar, sleeves rolled up and sneakers.
Lets not forget the dude is often wearing earrings in both ears with his sometimes punk hair.
How’s that going to play up there in northern wherever?
Rogers is prepared to take the risk to find out while at the same time using an established brand in the ultra-professional MacLean to help them grow a Sunday audience from scratch.
But are Canadian hockey fans ready this?