Sportsnet exploring new formats for first intermission, Hall of Fame feature on tap this week

TORONTO — Don’t expect an immediate replacement for fired commentator Don Cherry on “Coach’s Corner.”

In fact, it’s possible that Sportsnet may eventually take the long-running “Hockey Night in Canada” segment in a different direction.

“We’re taking the time to explore new formats for the first intermission,” Sportsnet communications director Andrew Garas said in an email to The Canadian Press late Friday afternoon.

Garas also confirmed that Saturday night’s first intermission will highlight the 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. The induction ceremony is Monday.

Cherry’s nearly four-decade run on Hockey Night ended this past Monday. He made on-air comments last Saturday night which many felt were critical of immigrants for not wearing Remembrance Day poppies.

Segment co-host Ron MacLean, who apologized last weekend, said this week he intends to address the matter on Saturday. MacLean did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

HNIC was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a lucrative long-term broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014. “Coach’s Corner” and HNIC are still broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.

Cherry’s departure sparked much discussion among hockey fans about what the future of the popular segment might hold.

The 85-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., joined HNIC in 1980 as a playoff analyst and was so popular that he was kept on as a colour commentator. CBC later created “Coach’s Corner” as a vehicle to showcase Cherry with MacLean eventually replacing Dave Hodge as his sidekick.

Several candidates would be qualified to replace Cherry if Sportsnet elects to stay with the current format.

Former hockey executive and current Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke is listed as the early betting favourite (+125), according to odds released this week by sportsbook Bodog.

Odds were also available for Sportsnet broadcasters Elliotte Friedman (+175), Colby Armstrong (+650), Craig Simpson (+650), Kelly Hrudey (+650) and Chris Johnston (+900).

Just Posted

Red Deer’s 2019 Christmas Lights Tour is the biggest yet

More neighbourhoods were added to the routes

Truck stolen twice in one month in central Alberta

A team with Red Deer RCMP is dedicated to investigating auto thefts

Alleged car thief nabbed while sleeping in vehicle in Olds

Weaopns and drugs were also discovered in a police search

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP raise more than $12k during charity checkstop

Food donations will be made to Innisfail food bank

Ticket package prices released for 2021 World Juniors

Hockey Canada has announced ticket package prices for the 2021 World Juniors.… Continue reading

Enbridge declines to estimate Line 3 startup despite positive state ruling

CALGARY — The CEO of Enbridge Inc. says an updated environmental review… Continue reading

Opinion: Canada and Alberta need each other. Here’s why

As Jason Kenney and a third of his cabinet attempt to smother… Continue reading

Kyle Lowry among celebs to make onstage cameos in ‘The Nutcracker’

Toronto Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry is set to be a pointe guard… Continue reading

Opinion: City’s health-care needs ignored once again

Whether it’s services for those struggling with addictions, or patients who need… Continue reading

Canadians say ‘not enough’ to anti-doping agency sanctions on Russia

The latest sanctions levied against Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency don’t… Continue reading

Most Read