Possible host change for Hockey Night in Canada and more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
TORONTO STAR: Sources claims George Stroumboulopoulos won’t be returning next season as host of Hockey Night in Canada. His replacement will reportedly be Ron MacLean, the man he replaced in 2014.
THE CANADIAN PRESS (VIA OTTAWA SUN): MacLean claims there’s nothing official regarding the report he’ll return as host of HNiC, though he did acknowledge “there’s a few balls in the air and things like that.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a classic example of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” For years, there were calls for a shake-up of Hockey Night in Canada by some pundits and fans who felt it was showing signs of age. Stroumboulopoulos was brought in to help lure younger viewers, but the move obviously failed.
It’s unfair to tar “Stroumbo” as the scapegoat for the declining ratings, especially in this year’s playoffs when there wasn’t a Canadian team in the postseason. Still, he seemed ill-suited for the role of HNiC host.
The fault lies with Rogers Sportsnet. The network made too many changes too quickly, such as eliminating the popular show-opening videos of Tim Thompson, employing far too many talking heads and, of course, replacing the popular MacLean.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks signed North Dakota center Nick Schmaltz to a three-year entry-level contract.
NBC SPORTS: The Florida Panthers signed Boston College junior Ian McCoshen to an entry-level contract.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs will hold part of their training camp this fall in Halifax.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators released their preseason schedule.