Daily Photo: A River Runs Through It

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Rogers Hockey Changes Official

Rogers has made it official. George Stroumboulopoulos is no longer part of the Rogers Hockey broadcast team. According to the press release, he will "depart the company to explore new creative opportunities."

That same release tells us Ron MacLean "is returning to host hockey’s biggest night alongside David Amber". MacLean will keep his Coach's Corner co-hosting and Rogers Hometown Hockey duties.

According to David Shoalts, additional on-air changes include the departure of Glenn Healy, Leah Hextall, Corey Hirsch, Chantal Desjardins, Billy Jaffe and P.J. Stock. I know people loved to hate Healy, but I never minded his contribution from between the bench. And when he guested on the Fan 590 radio shows, I found his opinions insightful and interesting.

Andy Frost has also tweeted that his contract was not renewed and after 17 years there will be a new public address announcer at the ACC.

Damien Cox, it was previously announced, has left to become Bob McCown's permanent co-host on the Fan 590's Prime Time Sports. Panelists Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, and Nick Kypreos join MacLean and Amber in-studio Saturday nights, to round out the A team.

According to Chris Zelkovich, fourteen staff in total were fired today, many of them working behind the scenes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only thing that will improve ratings on Hockey Night in Canada will be competitive Canadian teams. In particularly, a rising Maple Leaf star will do wonders for Numeris PPM numbers.

There was nothing Strombo could do to compensate for zero Canadian teams in the 2015-16 NHL playoffs.

Related:

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The Problem with HBO's Vinyl

"A New York music executive in the 1970s hustles to make a career out of the city's diverse music scene."

That's the description of Vinyl. With Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger on board as co-creators, they had my curiosity, but with the HBO seal of approval, they had my attention. I had to see this.

vinyl

I watched all 10 episodes, quickly deeming it a low-rent Madmen wannabe, but the music and artist "cameos" kept me interested. After all, it's all about the music, and it's pretty cool seeing Alice Cooper, Joey Ramone, the New York Dolls, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, Buddy Holly, DJ Kool Herc and others.

My biggest issue with Vinyl was the acting of Bobby Cannavale. His over-the-top performance of Richie Finestra was just too much, and often cringe-worthy. If he was supposed to be the Don Draper of Vinyl, Vinyl didn't stand much of a chance.

Rumour has it Cannavale has been good in other projects, such as Boardwalk Empire, but since I've not yet seen Boardwalk Empire, I just know him as the guy in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. As I recall, I didn't like him in that, either.

Vinyl has been cancelled, and it deserved to be cancelled. It's a shame, though. With better writing and acting, this could have been a great deal of fun.

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Auston Matthews Drafted 1st Overall by Maple Leafs

Auston

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Patty Sullivan Released of Kids' CBC Duties

If you include her hosting duties at TVOKids, Patty Sullivan has been a television friend to our kids since 1994. My three oldest kids have all enjoyed her work as host of Kids' CBC where she's been since 2003. Sadly, my youngest won't have that pleasure.

Kids' CBC is rebranding this coming winter, and that means no more Patty Sullivan, Sid Bobb or Mamma Yamma.

patty

For the short in-house segments — which Markle likens to short stories — the goal of the "total rebranding" is to create videos that work on television as well as on digital and mobile platforms.

"We're going to have a new studio and set that will allow us to create content that is platform agnostic and go anywhere," he said.

"Kids watch television, use iPads, YouTube, mobile devices. We will be creating excellent, worthwhile, funny, entertaining content that will be at home broadcast first or shared and highly interactive."

It's a shame. I spent many a morning with Patty and will miss her.

Update: Patty is on the air until September, so she'll visit me for an episode of Toronto Mike'd then. I'm looking forward to it.

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Strombo Talks About Hockey Night in Canada

The big news in this country is that George Stroumboulopoulos is being replaced as host of Hockey Night in Canada by Ron MacLean. Ron MacLean had the gig before Strombo, and Strombo visited my basement a few months into his first season as host to talk about the big change.

We actually had to discuss his start on The Fan 590, his role on 102.1 the Edge, MuchMusic and his CBC shows first, so I've done you a favour and edited the 1:50:46 of audio (the longest episode of Toronto Mike'd at the time) down to the twenty minutes of Hockey Night in Canada chatter.

Here's George Stroumboulopoulos talking to me about criticism of his new role at Rogers Hockey. Considering this week's news, it's a rather interesting listen.

If you like what you hear, consider subscribing to Toronto Mike'd and becoming a Patron.

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Frederik Andersen a Maple Leaf

Frederik Andersen has been traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for the 30th pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and the Leafs 2nd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Maple Leafs promptly signed him to a 5-year extension.

From TSN:

Andersen posted a 22-9-7 record with a 2.30 goals-against-average and .919 save percentage in 43 games last season with the Ducks. The 26-year-old also went 3-2 with a 1.41 goals-against average and .947 save percentage in five playoff starts in the 2016 post-season.

He has a 77-26-12 record with a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage over 125 career regular season games with Anaheim. Andersen also holds a 17-9-2 career post-season record with a 2.34 GAA and .916 save percentage.

I haven't been this excited since we traded for Vesa Toskala!

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6 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto

Since I wrote last year about the cities with a longer championship drought than Toronto, the Warriors, Royals and Cavs won it all. With championships arriving in Oakland, Kansas City and Cleveland, that brings the list down to six.

Now before we proceed, this entry is about NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB championships. I realize Toronto has had great success in lacrosse and has won Grey Cups recently, but with all due respect, I'm not counting them as major championships. For Toronto, I'm only counting the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.

That means Toronto hasn't won a major championship since 1993. That's a 23 year drought. As bad as that sounds, six cities have it worse.

San Diego

Let's start with San Diego. The Chargers haven't won since 1963, the Padres have never won a World Series, and even their former NBA teams (Rockets and Clippers) didn't win a thing.
53 year drought


Buffalo

Buffalo only has the two teams, but that's enough to count. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup and the Bills haven't won since 1965.
51 year drought


Milwaukee

The Bucks last won the NBA Championship in 1971 with Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson and the Brewers have never won a World Series. I considered disqualifying Milwaukee because the Packers used to play home games there, but that hasn't happened since 1994.
45 year drought


Cincinnati

The Bengals have been consistently brutal throughout the years, never winning a title. Meanwhile, the Reds haven't won a World Series since 1990.
26 year drought


Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, the North Stars and Wild have never won a Stanley Cup, the Timberwolves have never won and the Twins haven't won a World Series since 1991.
25 year drought


Washington

The Bullets / Wizards haven't won since 1978, the Capitals have never won, the Nationals have never won and their NFL franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1992.
24 year drought

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Ron MacLean to Replace George Stroumboulopoulos as Host of Hockey Night in Canada

According to The Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk, George Stroumboulopoulos won’t return as host of Hockey Night in Canada next season. His replacement will be the man he replaced, Ron MacLean.

Strombo is a tremendous broadcaster, and I was lucky enough to converse with him for almost two hours during episode 103 of my podcast. He's a natural interviewer, with several passions that make him one of this country's finest. Subjective, I know, but I thought he was just fine as host of Hockey Night in Canada. I just believe the position should never have been open in the first place.

As Ron MacLean told me during his recent visit to my home podcast studio for episode 165, he lost his Hockey Night in Canada hosting duties because he refused to give Gary Bettman a free pass. MacLean strikes me as someone who struggles with the ethics of journalism, and simply won't toe the line for any job, ever. During the last two seasons, he was grossly underutilized by Rogers Hockey, and I told him that.

Ron MacLean and Me strombo and me

I'm happy to see a wrong righted with MacLean, but sorry to see it come at the expense of Strombo. You won't find two nicer, more accommodating broadcasters in this country.

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