There’s been a lot of negative reaction to the announcement this week that George Stroumboulopoulos will be the new host of Hockey Night in Canada starting next season when Rogers takes over the rights to all things NHL in Canada. That deal never should have been allowed by the way, since the marriage of Rogers and sports in this country is trampling all over monopoly territory to the point where the only thing that’s going to slow it down is the world literally running out of spectator sports. But it was allowed and Rogers makes the rules now, so Strombo it is.
Honestly, I have no problem with it. Well, almost no problem with it. Stroumboulopoulos is a talented broadcaster who if memory serves has done sports talk before and who I have no doubt can pull this off. As hosts go, it would have been easy for Rogers, a company which at times seems to have built an industry on doing exactly that, to have done a whole lot worse.
My only potential issue is Ron MacLean. If it was truly his decision to step aside and take a reduced role, then fine. But if he was forced out because Rogers felt like the face of Hockey Night needed a change, then I hate it. As far as I’m concerned, Ron MacLean has earned the right to do things on his terms. The job should be his for as long as he wants it. He’s perfectly good at it, and change for the sake of change isn’t always a good thing.
I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what a Strombo hosted HNIC might look like. I was too, until This Hour Has 22 Minutes did a fine job of showing me. That’s a pretty good impression, I must say.