George Strombolopoulos As Don Cherry’s New Sidekick?


Sep 14, 2013; Belleville, Ontario, CAN; CBC television commentator Don Cherry (right) and Ron MacLean (left) during the first period intermission at Yardmen Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With changes abound for the National broadcast rights to the NHL kicking off next season, Rogers Sportsnet apparently has a few changes in mind when it comes to the Saturday night institution of Hockey Night in Canada.

Ron MacLean, current host and sidekick for Don Cherry in the long-running Coaches Corner segment in the first intermission, will be replaced by Canadian talk show host George Strombolopoulos.

Strombo, as he is known (and is easier to spell) is reportedly a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens, which will make for an interesting dichotomy alongside Cherry, who is an avid pumper of the tires of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It will also give Ottawa fans, who are smack dab in the middle and also suffer from a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to their two long-established rivals, yet another reason to complain about the coverage of CBC.

To make things almost perfect, it was Bob McKenzie of TSN, who is losing the weekday national rights, who broke the news of the changes in a tweet Sunday night.

McKenzie also suggested that Grapes will be around for at least 2 more seasons.

It also brought this tweet from current Sportsnet “personality” Nick Kypreos

Strombolopoulos will bring a breath of fresh air, although he also seems to be a strong personality as well, which could make for some interesting Coaches Corners, because that is the opposite of Ron MacLean’s seemingly milk-toast personality.

Cherry has become a caricature of his former self in recent seasons, and I think more people tune in to see his outlandish wardrobe rather than buying into his opinion any more.

It could be great, or it could be a disaster if the new duo doesn’t have chemistry.