Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 165: Ron MacLean

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 165In this 165th episode, Mike chats with broadcaster Ron MacLean about his years hosting Hockey Night in Canada, working with Don Cherry on Coach's Corner, his fallout with Gary Bettman and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:21:45.

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Jason from Sudbury

Been waiting all day for this one! Listenning now.

March 30, 2016 @ 2:01 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Ah, the original HNIC theme. Haven't heard that in a while. Still miss it.

March 30, 2016 @ 2:14 PM


Great podcast. Just finished listening.

I really enjoyed how candid he was about being replaced and his past troubles with CBC/Rogers/NHL management. Fascinating that the NHL may have wanted him out as host of HNIC just because he was asking hard-hitting questions. I never thought the NHL would try and have so much control over the broadcast of their game when more serious issues are being discussed (see: concussions, fighting, 3v3 OT, etc).

Really enjoy when people speak openly and freely about the business of sports. Shows how shady the industry can really get.

March 30, 2016 @ 3:29 PM


Good job, Mike. I loved MacLean's candor.

March 30, 2016 @ 3:32 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Great podcast and one of my favorits.

March 30, 2016 @ 3:54 PM

Sam in Pickering

Excellent. One of your best. Great guest and great chemistry.

March 30, 2016 @ 4:50 PM


I'm glad Mike was able to get Ron in to chat. I have the immense pleasure of working on HNIC from 1994-2009ish as a tech and spent most of my Saturday's with Ron in the studio at MLG or the ACC before they moved to the CBC building.

He is the most genuine person I've ever had the pleasure to work with on a long term basis. Never once in all those years did I ever feel like I was not part of something... Ron always made everyone on the crew feel welcome and needed.

I never saw him him turn down an autograph that he didn't have time for. I've never seen him lose it with fans or well wishers. I was and still am amazed at how he can do what he does with all that is going on around him and still do what he does at an incredible level. It takes a special person to be able to do that and I think it certainly comes across in this podcast.

I shared with Mike a picture from our studio crew from 2002... and what I didn't share with him is a picture Ron and Don signed for me on the last night that they were going to be at the ACC every Saturday. It sits by my desk at home and It's one of the treasured items I have from my 25 years in this industry.

Thanks again Mike... I gotta see if I can get Buck or Tabby on the poddy this year!


March 30, 2016 @ 7:25 PM


Excellent. That 'furniture' remark was hilarious, and true.

Interesting to hear Ron make several frustrated references to the time limit of Coach's Corner. It is short, but I wonder about 'too much of a good thing'. I wonder how long Ron and/or Don think the segment should be. Would a 10 minute segment leave us wanting more? I always enjoyed the after game segment equally, if not more.

March 30, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Rob J

I'm only half-way through so I'll give my review tomorrow, but thanks for asking my question! It brought forth the Don Cherry-Chris Simon anecdote. I like that you summon questions from us and then use them. Can't wait to hear the 2nd half.

March 30, 2016 @ 8:08 PM

Handsome Rob

I've been looking forward to listening to this one. I can't wait for my drive to work tomorrow. Wait, what.......

March 30, 2016 @ 9:16 PM

John M.

I was very impressed by how well-read Ron is, He is always trying to get better and is not just resting on his laurels.

I think this reflects well on Mike how he can show me a side of someone I have known through TV for decades that I never knew existed.

March 30, 2016 @ 9:32 PM


Great Job!
Love how honest Ron was and the time just flew by.

March 30, 2016 @ 9:47 PM


Hi Mike. Been following and listening to you blog/podcasts for a few months now, but this is my first time posting. Enjoy your work. Felt complied to make this my first reply because I've been waiting for this podcast for some time.

For me, Ron MacLean is a legend. He is a main reason of what makes (made) HNiC. And it pisses me off he is no longer the host. I loved his comment where he said the show is king. He nailed it. HNiC, in its true (previous) form, goes well beyond the game itself. And seeing what Rogers has done to the show, with the removal of Ron as a primary factor, I can no longer watch HNiC (it shouldn't even be called HNiC anymore with the way Rogers has abominated it).

I'm glad he didn't hold back and was candid enough to admit his removal probably having to do with Bettman's dislike of him. He used the word "corporatized", and he couldn't have said it any better. HNiC becoming way too corporate is another reason why I can barely watch these days. From Strombo (horrible host) kissing Bettman's ass in interviews showing Rogers is allowing the NHL to completely manipulate their broadcasts, to the million and one adverts, to the hawking of Rogers products at every turn possible (nice to see a hockey game broke out during a 4K infomercial), it's been enough to turn off the TV and say I've had enough.

It's a damn shame what happened to Ron and to a Canadian institution. Yeah, I'm bitter.

At least we have Ron hosting the Olympics coming up.

Thanks for giving me the platform to post and vent. Keep up the great work and look forward to listening and replying to the many more topics/podcasts ahead.

March 31, 2016 @ 12:09 AM



March 31, 2016 @ 3:21 PM

Dr No

Always enjoy the podcast but this was one I didnt care for. Grew up watching Ron play the "normal" point of reference to Cherry's over the top ridiculous act.

Loved Ron. But tired quickly of hearing him try to convince himself of how ethical he is. The ethical canary. How he was alone in refusing to be shaped by "corporate interests" then starts talking about the importance of branding.

How ethical he is but how he was fine with asking taxpayers to fork over $1 million for what he does. And then there was the literary critic. You did great as always Mike. Just wasn't my cup of tea.

March 31, 2016 @ 7:45 PM



The podcast just keeps getting better each week.

Each podcast is becoming a "must listen" show and is definitely putting your podcast on the radar!

Great show with Ron.....and you even used my question!! ( was Don Cherry your best gift?)


April 1, 2016 @ 10:05 AM

Al The Royal Pain

Whoa! I've been in Mexico for the past week, so I didn't know this was happening until it played in my player just now!

Kudos on this one Mike, still listening, but already loving it!

I had to jump on here though to comment on one want to talk just had Mr. Hockeyville openly admit on your podcast that he likes porn! :O

April 7, 2016 @ 5:15 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Nicely done Mike, you had him feeling comfortable from the moment you started the interview.

April 9, 2016 @ 9:35 AM

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