There’s plenty of uncertainty heading into the first Hockey Night in Canada broadcast since Don Cherry’s termination on Nov. 11 but one of the biggest questions was answered Friday.
Ron MacLean, Cherry’s longtime co-host on Coach’s Corner, will not be leaving the program. MacLean himself took to social media to shoot down rumours of his departure, clarifying that any desire to move on came while he was still processing the news that shook up the Canadian sports media landscape.
@simmonssteve it's Ron Steve...not leaving Saturdays. That rumble likely comes from ideas early on I shared in processing everything.— Ron MacLean (@RonMacLeanHTH) November 15, 2019
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun claimed to be hearing MacLean wanted to remove himself from the Saturday night broadcast but remain as the host of Sunday’s Hometown Hockey series.
MacLean issued an apology live on air the day after Cherry’s comments, shouldering some responsibility for not interjecting after the rant. Cherry expressed disappointment in his friend for that apology, but refused to “throw him under the bus.”
Countless people have come to Cherry’s defence, including NHL legend Bobby Orr, Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri, and even Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia. A small group of protesters gathered outside Rogers headquarters Wednesday to voice their displeasure over the 85-year-old’s termination.
It is still unclear how Saturday’s show will unfold, and who —if anyone— will replace Cherry on Coach’s Corner.
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