Rogers Announces Start Of NHL Team


Here is the Rogers announcement:

TORONTO, March 10, 2014 /CNW/ – Rogers today announced a dream team of broadcasters who will anchor NHL national coverage across all Rogers properties, as well as Hockey Night in Canada. Together, George Stroumboulopoulos, Don Cherry, Ron MacLean, Daren Millard and Jeff Marek will be cornerstones of Rogers’s NHL coverage this coming fall.

The team will deliver more than 500 regular season games across 13 networks and 7 platforms, including up to 7 games every Saturday night, plus “Hometown Hockey” every Sunday hosted from communities across Canada, and every game of the NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final.

The announcement was made today by Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers.

“We know how passionate fans are about hockey, and so we’ve brought together the best anchors to deliver the best hockey experience to Canadians,” said Moore. “George is one of the smartest and most versatile broadcasters in the business, and Ron and Don are icons in the hockey world. Along with Daren and Jeff, our new broadcast team brings a tremendous amount of talent, expertise and personality – and most importantly, they all possess a supreme passion for hockey.”

The Lineup:

George Stroumboulopoulos, Host

Stroumboulopoulos is one of Canada’s most popular and respected broadcasters. He will be returning to his roots in sports, having spent the first four years of his career as a sports reporter at The Fan 590 (now Sportsnet 590 The FAN)
Beginning October 2014, Stroumboulopoulos will host Hockey Night in Canada, and will be the studio anchor for Sunday night NHL Hometown Hockey broadcasts on City. He’ll also host other NHL broadcasts on Sportsnet and other Rogers platforms
Strombo on his new role: “Hockey is one of my deep-seated passions and I’m thrilled to be going full circle, returning to my roots in sports broadcasting. It’s a dream for me to work with Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, as well as my old friendJeff Marek who I started my career with. I’m also looking forward to working with Daren Millard and the entire team at Rogers.”
Don Cherry, Analyst, Coach’s Corner

The legendary Cherry has been captivating Canadian hockey audiences with his engaging opinions on Coach’s Corner since 1980. Cherry will continue to appear on Coach’s Corner every Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada with Ron MacLean
Grapes on continuing the Coach’s Corner tradition: “I knew that Rogers would never mess with the greatest segment on television. We’re going into our 29th season of Coach’s Corner, and we’re stronger than ever!”
Ron MacLean, Host

MacLean, with more than 30 years of award-winning experience under his belt, will host Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights, and will be front and centre on Sunday nights, the new night for hockey in Canada, hosting Hometown Hockey Community Celebration
MacLean will also host Hockey Day in Canada, an important Canadian tradition for 14 years
MacLean on Coach’s Corner and Hometown Hockey: “I’m thrilled about the way Rogers and Hockey Night in Canadaintend to recognize the community in the new deal. Thirty-five million voices will play a part, and I’m simply honoured to be a part of the team. As for Grapes and me – year 29 is coming up. For 28 years, Don’s been wired but now he’s wireless. What a break.”
Daren Millard, Host

Millard has been a member of Sportsnet’s broadcast team since the network’s inception in 1998. He will host Wednesday Night Hockey on Sportsnet, starting this fall
In addition, Millard will continue to host Hockey Central @ Noon, Canada’s No. 1 hockey talk radio show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and Sportsnet, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs regional hockey on Sportsnet
Millard on his new role: “I’ve been at Sportsnet since day one, and I couldn’t be happier to have this new challenge of hosting NHL hockey on the national stage. It’s a privilege to work at Rogers and it’s going to be a privilege working with the likes of Cherry, MacLean and Stroumboulopoulos.”
Jeff Marek, Host

Marek has been host of Hockey Central on Sportsnet since 2011, and was also the former host of Hockey Night inCanada Radio. He will host Thursday Night Hockey on Sportsnet 360, in addition to the weekend afternoon NHL pre-game shows on Sportsnet, starting this fall
In addition to his NHL responsibilities, Marek will host Friday Night Hockey and the Memorial Cup
Marek on his new role this October: “Twenty years ago, George and I used to sit in the producers’ room at The Fan 590 radio station in Toronto and talk about how we had to, one day, work in hockey together. So today’s a great day. To share a place in the presentation of the NHL with George, Daren, Ron and Don is both humbling and inspiring. And, I’m really excited to be part of my first hockey love – junior. The CHL, for anyone who knows me, holds a special place.”

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Poker Guy
Poker Guy
March 10, 2014 12:31 pm


March 10, 2014 1:11 pm

Man. I’m glad for hockey fans, but I hope Rogers doesn’t bury the Jays.

Steve in Waterloo
Steve in Waterloo
March 10, 2014 1:21 pm

I don’t get how a guy who failed at CNN ends up being the host of the jewel in Canadian broadcasting.

I’m not saying Ron MacLean was everything, but at least I had respect for his hockey knowledge.

I’m okay with change, but I don’t really get this move – jewel of broadcasting goes to a guy who’s had nothing to do with sports for more than a decade.

And, he’s a dreaded Hab fan to boot!

Chef Mike in Burlington
March 10, 2014 1:36 pm

Although I personally don’t give a shit about watching NHL hockey anymore, I was truly hoping this new unholy alliance would be a chance to finally get rid of Cherry/Maclean and move their coverage into the 21st century, but sadly not, looks like a lot of the same shit I stopped watching 10 years ago, makes me wonder how many new viewers this will attract…

Lee (Oakville)
Lee (Oakville)
March 10, 2014 1:36 pm

I don’t mind change and I think now is as good a time as any to overhaul hockey broadcasting in Canada, but the “cornerstones” leave me cold. Strombo is a CBC insider (I have never had a conversation with any friends or work colleagues about his show, and we are all voracious media consumers) and the other three? Retreads representing the status quo. Let’s hope the remaining group of analysts, etc. is more imaginative and not comprised of Cox, Shannon et al.

Raptors Devotee
March 10, 2014 2:41 pm

If this is the first liners, not exactly overwhelming. The pool of talent at the CBC/Sportsnet for hockey pales in comparison to what TSN has, and even as someone who does not follow it on a regular basis, the fans are the ones who will be shortchanged, although the production levels, the # of games, and the platforms offered should be first-rate.

March 10, 2014 2:43 pm

I always thought Stroumboulopoulos was lame – just a fawning, desperate-to-be funny, mediocrity. So he should be perfect as a hockey host.

D. Smith
D. Smith
March 10, 2014 3:02 pm

These moves are fine with me. I think if Rogers had their way the would toss MacLean and most of the HNIC talking heads to the curb but they don’t want to be branded as the ones how killed HNIC. To me it sounds like MacLean will slowly be phased out which is fine with me. Other than Bob Mackenzie is there really a difference between in-studio talent?

March 10, 2014 3:40 pm

“I was truly hoping this new unholy alliance would be a chance to finally get rid of Cherry/Maclean and move their coverage into the 21st century,”

Not sure what would have happened with Maclean but if Rogers decided to get rid of Don Cherry, Bell/TSN probably would have signed Grapes to a contract within 30 seconds.

Westdale Rocks
Westdale Rocks
March 10, 2014 4:10 pm

I’m not sure how you can call something that includes Millard and Marek a “Dream Team”. Sorry Rogers, a “Dream Team” would have included at least three individuals over at your rival–Duthie, Dreger and Mackenzie.

Dave in Bolton
Dave in Bolton
March 10, 2014 5:06 pm

Lol anything with George Snuffleupagus is far far from a dream team his spot should of been filled by Elliot Friedman. Im fine with Snuffleupagus contribution to the broadcast but as a host thats a slap in the face to hockey fans

Ken B
Ken B
March 10, 2014 8:22 pm

I suspect Strombo will evolve really well into the role, but an excellent choice would have been Elliotte Friedman, proven and articulate in a similar setting. At least Rogers subtly acknowledged none of their existing staff were worthy of the #1 spot. Mr. Millard, once touted by Sportsnet as a rising star, doesn’t appear to have ever met their expectations. Mr. Marek is little more than a traffic cop, who fawns all over people, but the empire is compelled to promote from within, especially when their pursuit of TSN talent was apparently rebuffed. Making this announcement now gives them a ton of lead time before the curtains rise.

March 10, 2014 8:56 pm

I had Stroumboulopoulos at a restaurant once! They lit the damn stuff on fire and started chanting opa,opa, and the all the male waiters started dancing and kissing each other?? Looks like a typical Roger’s move to me.

March 11, 2014 12:27 am

Good point about Friedman. I forgot about him. Surprised he wasn’t given Marek’s spot on the podium.

I wonder if he’ll find his way to Rogers?

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
March 11, 2014 3:39 am

A very interesting rant about the subject from a man whom has been fired from every sports job he has held in the past 10 years.

Mike V
Mike V
March 11, 2014 7:38 am

“I’ve already been black-balled by Canadian network television for, in the words of another exec I once worked for, being “too opinionated” and “hurting our brand” by critiquing events such as the Olympics and teams like the Blue Jays and Leafs.”

Does anyone other than Mike Toth think that’s the only reason he’s on NewsTalk 1010?

The rest of it is just bizarre. Strombo as lead is not liked by everyone, me included, but a much worse idea would be to hand jobs out just based on “paying dues” instead of talent evaluation. Same with his notion that skilled broadcasters in other disciplines can’t cross over to sports because … well TSN tried it once and it didn’t work out so we can never do it again.

Chef Mike in Burlington
March 11, 2014 10:38 am

Toth, really ?? I think the “two Mikes “thing he and Hogey did is why Hogan got gassed at 590. I would actually turn off the radio when his monotone voice came on, and I liked Hogey!

I suspect he didn’t get called not because he’s blackballed, but that he simply isn’t good enough when compared to the other 200 guys out there.

March 11, 2014 12:52 pm

Not sure if it was one if you, but that second comment on Toth’s blog is awesome and very on point.
I tuned out toth after his ‘mccown leaving the station for soccer bit’. Was stupid and obvious (i felt sorry for the producers screening calls for gullible people). He then beat to death how he ‘fooled’ us the rest of the week.

March 11, 2014 7:52 pm

I’m just thankful I don’t follow a Canadian team.

Not only will I get to see my team more, but I won’t (usually) be subject to the gong show panels.

March 13, 2014 1:50 pm

The guy I feel most sorry for is Elliotte Friedman. I mean so much for allowing him to slide his way into replacing Ron MacLean.

I would’ve preferred “the Friedge” vs. Strombo.

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