Strachan off Hockey Night in Canada’s Satellite Hot Stove

Posted by Richard Pollock in General NHL on October 21, 2009 — 9 Comments

From Bruce Dowbiggen of the Globe & Mail:

Looks like Al Strachan is out of the Hot Stove and into the fire.

On Tuesday, Usual Suspects received the following e-mail from Jeff Keay of CBC: “Hot Stove has a number of guest contributors who we rotate through the lineup. At this time, we’ve made the decision to take Al out of the regular rotation and to use some of the other personalities we’ve added to the broadcast over the summer.”

Translation: Strachan has been dropped from the Hockey Night In Canada segment a second time, having first been let go in 2005.

Read the entire article here.

Cannot say I am totally surprised by this announcement.  Strachan stirs the pot and doesn’t exactly apologize for it.  CBC seems okay with that sort of mindset if it brings in ratings (see: Donald S. Cherry) but generally stays far away from that type of television personality.

For all his criticisms, I do think Strachan knows the game of hockey.  For the most part, he has fairly astute comments on the games going on and the happenings around the NHL.  That said, he does have his detractors and that’s the main reason this announcement doesn’t surprise.  Remember, as Dowbiggen notes, Strachan has already been let go once by the CBC.

From a selfish perspective, I am hoping this opens the door for personalities like Eric Duhatschek to return to the Satellite Hot Stove sgement.  To be honest, I am still trying to figure out why Duhatschek was taken off in the first place.

In fact, last May I wrote a plea to the CBC to bring Eric Duhatschek back to the Hot Stove.  You can read that here.

  • Bob Roberts

    Should’ve kept Strachan, added Duhatschek, axed Milbury (aka PBT: Pompous Blowhard Twit). Typical CBC: coincidence on the timing after the Winnipeg comment?

    I think I heard/read Duhatschek quoted as saying he left SHS because he had too much on his plate, but that was some time ago.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Richard

    Bob,

    Here is a Q & A that I had with Eric in October 2007 right after the CBC had announced a new Hot Stove format (which only lasted about a month if you remember):

    Richard: The Second last question I wanted to ask you is if you are going to be appearing on the Hot Stove on Hockey Night in Canada this season?

    Eric: As of now, no. What happened was, they contacted both Pierre Lebrun and I at the beginning of September to say they have changed the programming and are not going to use journalists on the Satellite Hot Stove; instead they are going to use ex-players. The first two weeks it has been Scott Mellanby both times, and Sean Burke joined Mellanby last week. The new executive producer did leave the door open slightly for a possibility of something later on in the year. I think that part of the problem for me, being stationed in Calgary, was that they were trying to do away with the Satellite component of the broadcast. There were a lot of production issues with the old format that I had been on for the past ten years. People take for granted how difficult it was coordinating that format which, on many nights, had four people in four different places. I think by taking their show inside the CBC studios they eliminated a ton of their production problems. Also, there is a new regime at CBC sports that promised changes and to update the programming and Satellite Hot Stove had been on for 10-12 years. I guess it is like any series that has a good run, people wanted to stop and try something else. I mean it is kind of disappointing to not be able to do it but I have had a great relationship with the CBC in the past and hope at some point it continues; although it doesn’t seem like it would be in that particular format.

  • Bob Roberts

    Thanks, Richard. I’ll see if I can dredge up the place where I saw/heard the plate bit which was after Oct 07 if it happened at all. Could’ve imagined it of course.

    Would you have left Strachan and axed Milbury? Other than as a Strach Scratchin’ Post I can see no use for him, but then I never could understand how he got jobs as GM either. Bet some teams would agree with that last bit.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com dave

    I 100% agree with Bob. How do you keep Milbury over anyone?

    They need to have done exactly what he suggests (kept Strachan, added Duhatschek, axed Milbury) as well as increasing the length of Hot Stove. It is the only justification for sitting through 40 minutes of a Leafs game right now.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Richard

    I agree with both of you. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Milbury but I think the Hot Stove should only be writers. Managers and coaches always want back in the game and won’t ever “out” any kind of information. For writers, it is their job and we’d be open to more information.

  • Bryan

    I enjoy what Milbury contributes and would rotate Lebrun , Strachen and Duhatschek for the other two spots. I wouldn’t check in to see what LeBrun and Duhatschek add cuz they are very predictable and candy coat everything, i prefer someone that shots from the hip.

  • http://www.stayclassy.net Burgundy

    Here’s a different kind of insight into the Strachan axe: http://www.truthandrumours.net/2009/10/21/why-strachan-was-fired-by-hockey-night/

    I don’t like Milbury on CBC, however, I did enjoy the kind of character he brought to TSN with their panelists.

    Again, to me this shows how much better TSN ‘get it’. Aside from Ron Mclean, Jim Hughston and Elliotte Friedman, TSN destroy CBC broadcasts.

  • rusty

    While I didn’t always agree with him, I will miss Strachan’s insight. He is one of the few who was willing to say what needed to be said.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com dave

    Good link Burgundy:

    Strachan, for his part, would say only, “The decision was made by Hockey Night In Canada, so you would have to ask them why they made it. But it involves a copyright issue and not an on-camera or production issue.”

    Al Strachan book

    I saw some the amateur video Al shot for his book. Not very good. Perhaps that was CBC’s beef. They didn’t appreciate the video editing.