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.

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Comments (23 - click here to join in!)

dale

Any changes announced with the broadcasters?

HNIC was a joke the last 2 years with Strombo, Healy, PJ & Cox. Good luck to all as I see Cox will be McCowns new partner. Ain't gonna last long as both are hard heads & can see a confrontation in near future.

Kypreos will be the next Don Cherry & love his analysis.

June 27, 2016 @ 2:14 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Damn, sorry to hear about Strombo. I figured they would have found something else for him on the show. Mike you should try and get him back on the podcast at some point.

Also sorry to see Healy and Stock go.

June 27, 2016 @ 2:57 PM

Ken U. Barrett

John Shannon must have some very clear photos of high level Rogers executives trying to push a baby sheep over a fence.
There is NO other reason why he has a job at rogers both on TV & Radio.......

June 27, 2016 @ 3:17 PM

another steve

Sorry to see Healy chopped.
Always enjoyed his insight whenever I caught his bits.

Disappointed that Rogers not making more on-air changes to their stable of talking puck-heads.

June 27, 2016 @ 4:05 PM

Steve

Rogers is wise to Bring Cox back to Prime Time. Big show that has lost so much over the past few years. Cox is no Brunt, but he will be better than the revolving door they have been going with.

Bad Canadian teams are the biggest reason the ratings have been poor, but Strombo and the other next-gen features were too much change too quickly for hockey fans.

I like David Amber and think he knows lots about many sports. I fear he will get lost in the "only ex-players can have opinions" mode of commentary that seems to be the way in sports broadcasting these days.

MacLean is the best sports presenter in the country and CBC has shown us that less is more when it comes to showing hockey in Canada. Video screens and tons of talking heads don't add up to what Canadians are looking for with their hockey.

June 27, 2016 @ 4:13 PM

John O'Hara

For me, the absolute WORST aspect of HNIC for years has been Healy. The most negative, smug, know-it-all ever. Whereas I believe the choice to replace Ron in the 1st place was totally ridiculous, I do feel bad for George, as per reasons stated. But it's about g.d. time for Healy. LONG overdue.

June 27, 2016 @ 4:30 PM

Wally

Most interesting part about this was that Scott Moore (reportedly) admitted that this change is geared towards the older generation. Bringing back Ron and keeping Cherry is certainly a blast from the past. I wasn't necessarily a fan of George but I admire the fact that Rogers tried something new. It's unfortunate that people simply hate change rather than embrace it.

I'm still of the opinion that the younger generation isn't tuning in through the TV but rather streaming EVERYTHING on their phones, tablets or PC so any fluff of pre-game/intermission/post-game shows really doesn't interest the younger people. Do 8 - 18 year old people relate to Cherry's rants? Do they care that Ron has immense hockey knowledge? Do they give a shit what Friedman/Shannon/Hrudey/Kypreos have to say? I don't think so.

June 27, 2016 @ 4:40 PM

andrew

Is it true Andy Frost let go too as announcer at ACC for Leaf games??
WTF

June 27, 2016 @ 5:40 PM

The Bot

Yes, his Twitter confirms

June 27, 2016 @ 6:06 PM

GUNTer

so pissed about Andy Frost - you will NOT find a better announcer. period. Unbelievable. What the fuck is going on up there.

June 27, 2016 @ 6:07 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

John Gallagher is dropping by tomorrow night for an episode of my podcast, and he lived with Andy Frost for years. It'll be interesting to get his perspective on this.

June 27, 2016 @ 6:14 PM

Brian

Cox back in prime time? I'll be moving to TSN 1050 for sure. Brutal!

June 27, 2016 @ 10:56 PM

Mortimer

How did that meathead Kypreos keep his position. I can't stand him. He never says anything of value. I won't be watching until they finally wake up and send his sorry ass packing. Cox is a buffoon. Didn't he & Mccowan hate each other??

June 27, 2016 @ 11:37 PM

mortimer

Sorry not sure how one post turned into 5.

June 27, 2016 @ 11:39 PM

i agree 5x :)

re: mortimer: "Sorry not sure how one post turned into 5."
LOL, i thought you were just posting 5x for affect .. 'cause i'll agree 5x that Kypreos is not an asset to Sportsnet.

Kypreos toned things down somewhat this past season & was less irritating .. but that still doesn't make him good.

I'll take the TSN commentators over the Rogers commentators any day of the week.

June 28, 2016 @ 12:43 AM

Argie

@Mike
I haven't heard anything about Gallagher in years. It should be a good episode.

I'm one of the few who didn't mind Healy. I agree with the other changes but if it was up to me I would have went with Healy anyday over Shannon or Hrudey.

June 28, 2016 @ 8:22 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

I liked Healy because he didn't sound sanitized and pre-programmed. He was interesting and insightful with just enough snark... I'll take that every day of the week over some of the others.

I think he got heat because he didn't automatically give the Leafs a free pass. There has been plenty to dislike about the Leafs over the past dozen years.

June 28, 2016 @ 8:43 AM

Boomer

Stock is gone you say? Well now, Christmas did come early.

Glad Ron is back in the position he belongs. I'm surprised they let Strombo go completely. He would be great in a different role.

June 28, 2016 @ 10:45 AM

Anonymous

Healy and Stock were both poor and made marginal contributions for the amount of time that they were getting. Kypreos is kind of up and down, but generally knows to keep it short which was a big flaw with Healy and Stock. Hrudey has come a long way and was probably a better way to develop talent. Really sorry that Strombo couldn't have found a role doing more indepth interview pieces, but perhaps that was his choice. I wonder if he could transition to sports radio. Guessing that would be a stretch for him. Prime Time Sports continues to creak along but is still much better than the TSN crew.

June 28, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

markosaar

And now Andy Frost out too!

June 28, 2016 @ 1:38 PM


Anonymous

Not supprising all the changes...everyone new it was coming! Essentially huge cost saving...moving salaries to different cost centres if contracts still valid...therefore costs to NHL sports net look better and more in line...JUST B.S. and placates bean counters!! As for "gone" individuals no real suprises... As for whose left: WELL: Cox to Mccown ho-hum, at least Bob has somebody...too bad not Brunt, the ABSOLUTE BEST IN CANADA...Brunt said to Bob two words and they wern't "Florida Oranges" !!!! Shannon, extremely knowledgeable, but shut the. Up. Loose some weight! WHat's he going to do between 4&5....Marek is excellent. Replace Duck-Bouy, with Marek; send Mallard out who cares!! MacClean THE BEST SHOULD BE AT TSN... Met him once at his clothing supplier and commented Mr. TSN! His retort and candour was outstanding, funny, provocative and not repeatable...He,s from Atlantic Canada...the humour and sarcastic nature is a departure from the scripted shrivel. A true find by Milman! INteresting NO Play/ Play announcers let go....BOB COLE still happening? Surprised by Healy's dismissal maybe they are going to attempt tu hire his best friend Pierre Mcquire. COuld put Duck.- Buoy or Kypreos there...Kypreos stays because Kirke got him a long term contract from Milman, otherwise boot his ass to Harry Rosen's to work on the floor...he thinks his MR. GQ. In his gratis Canali Clothes,always tugging at his suit jacket...just remember he was a Greek Goon who made the NHL.and got his lights punched out. too bad. --BUT he was on the Ranger"s 1994 Stanley Cup team. All in All. Oh Morrison...he' as exciting as watching paint dry...what the f ck? He's got a title...SO WHAT,TOTALLY LAME BYE BYE for sure, his name must have fallen off the list.

tjf1
"


June 29, 2016 @ 5:05 AM

Anonymous

Note to Wally: Nothing wrong with embracing change...if its for the better and more importantly works. Clearly George S. was NOT working. I worked with Rick Brace (President, Rogers Media) for years. He is no nonsense and all about one thing. The bottom line. Yes, ratings won't go up or down significantly because of the host...the comments about competitive Canadian teams are correct; playoff ratings were reportedly down by as much as 60%. Why? No Canadian teams. There is your proof. But Strombo has little hockey knowledge and certainly didn't resonate with us "older" viewers. Sad to see Healy go, I agree with some of the other comments, yes, maybe a "know-it-all" but he knew what he was talking about. P.J. Stock? Long overdue. With ratings down, revenue down, why would you fly a guy in every week from Montreal, pay for meals and a hotel room, all for less than 5 mins on-air. Made no sense and he should have been gone two years ago. Rick is "about the bottom line" so why Shannon is there is beyond me. Adds nothing. Should have stuck to producing long ago. Oh yeah, and to quote one high-level source at Rogers, when I mentioned the Strombo move for MacLean; "it was the dumbest decision in the first place" (hiring Strombo as host).

August 26, 2016 @ 7:57 PM

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