Warning: Pissed off Canadian.

"For 17 years, he was the sane centre of the show, the glue that held Hockey Night In Canada together."

So says Bill Brioux of the Toronto Sun. And he's right. I can't believe those morons at CBC let Ron MacLean go. I didn't watch Coach's Corner just to see Don Cherry, dammit! I watched because the two of them together were fascinating. Hell, the highlight of last season (for me) wasn't anything Cherry said; it was Ron's interrogation of Gary Bettman over the two-referee thing that had my jaw hitting the floor. (hmmm... you don't suppose Bettman had anything to do with this, do you? It wouldn't surprise me if he did.) And Ron's puns! I liked the puns. I waited for the puns.

Will I keep watching the between-periods stuff on HNIC? I really don't know. If they replace MacLean with Scott Oake, not a chance. That man asks the stupidest questions. If they replace MacLean with Brian Williams, not a chance. I'd be too afraid he'd start in again with "Juan Antonio Samaranch has left the country. Let me repeat, Juan Antonio Samaranch has left the country." (Ice knows what I'm talking about.) Williams is boring. Ron MacLean asked intelligent questions, he kept Cherry relatively calm, and he was anything but boring. Replacing him will not be as easy as some reporters seem to think. He was much much more than just "the straight man".

If it's a money issue that's keeping the CBC from agreeing to the contract, I have an idea. Fire Scott Oake and use his salary to top up MacLean's. HNIC would benefit all around. And if that's not a good enough solution, the folks at the CBC need to rethink their position and come up with something before I'm forced to go over there and slap them. Multiple times.

Posted by Ripley on October 01, 2002

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