Don Cherry and Ron MacLean also confirmed to be part of the new team
George Stroumboulopoulos will be the next host of Hockey Night in Canada.
TSN reporter Bob McKenzie tweeted Sunday that the host of CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight will become the face of the show when Rogers Communications takes control of Canada’s NHL broadcasting rights next season. Rogers confirmed the presenter’s involvement in a news release Monday morning.
“Rogers today announced a dream team of broadcasters who will anchor NHL national coverage across all Rogers properties, as well as Hockey Night in Canada. Together, George Stroumboulopoulos, Don Cherry, Ron MacLean, Daren Millard and Jeff Marek will be cornerstones of Rogers’s NHL coverage this coming fall,” the company said in a release.
The hiring of Stroumboulopoulos is the first major personnel change made by Rogers after acquiring the NHL rights in a blockbuster 12-year, $5.2-billion deal in November.
The Roger release also confirms Cherry’s involvement – something that had been up in the air since Rogers signed on as the NHL’s media partner in Canada. Cherry has popularized Coach’s Corner since first appearing on it in 1980.
“We know how passionate fans are about hockey, and so we’ve brought together the best anchors to deliver the best hockey experience to Canadians,” said Scott Moore, Rogers’ president of Sportsnet and NHL properties, in a release. “George is one of the smartest and most versatile broadcasters in the business, and Ron and Don are icons in the hockey world. Along with Daren and Jeff, our new broadcast team brings a tremendous amount of talent, expertise and personality – and most importantly, they all possess a supreme passion for hockey.”
Hockey Night in Canada will continue to air Saturday nights on CBC through a sub-licensing agreement Rogers made with the public broadcaster, although Rogers will retain editorial control.
Stroumboulopoulos, already a household name in Canada, would bring plenty of credentials to the program.
The 41-year-old Montreal Canadiens fan is a six-time Gemini Award and Canadian Screen Award winner who has worked as a television personality and radio broadcaster with CBC since 2005.
Before that, Stroumboulopoulos spent four years as a host at MuchMusic where his ubiquitous black T-shirt, earrings and affable personality made him stand out.
More recently, he worked for CNN on the short-lived series Stroumboulopoulos, which aired last summer but was not renewed.