Come next season, the new Hockey Night in Canada might look a little bit more like the old Hockey Night in Canada.
A Toronto Star report suggests fresh face George Stroumboulopoulos will be leaving the marquee program to be replaced by HNIC icon Ron MacLean.
The move has not been confirmed by Stroumboulopoulos or Sportsnet executives, and MacLean told the Associated Press that nothing is official.
But that hasn’t stopped fans from weighing in. Reaction was particularly heated, as Strombo’s place on the show has been controversial from the get go, with many complaining he wasn’t a good fit or that his style was a little too ‘edgy.’
Many fans couldn’t wait to share their pleasure at the former Much Music VJ’s possible departure.
I think Strombo was a round peg in a square hole situation on Hockey night. His interactions with S Net guys often felt a tad awkward— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) June 19, 2016
What wasn't broken & didn't need fixing is now fixing the thing that is currently broken and in need of fixing https://t.co/zQXSrWHpxn— Steve Byrne (@stevebyrne87) June 20, 2016
Strombo will be missed...by idiots.— Darth Linguini (@VonLinguini) June 20, 2016
@theScore great guy but maybe not the face of hnic. Sorry strombo, stick to the top notch interviews outside of hockey.— seann with a few n's (@oldskoolbluejay) June 20, 2016
However, Strombo wasn’t without his own fans and defenders, many who suggested he never got a fair shake.
Props to @strombo for stepping into the toughest broadcasting shoes in Canada. Can't wait to see what he'll do next. Super hardworking dude.— Jonathan Torrens (@TorrensJonathan) June 20, 2016
@strombo please tell me you're still gonna be on hockey broadcasts even if you aren't the main host. Too talented to not be there— Shawzy (@CShawzy) June 20, 2016
Feel bad for Strombo in the #HNIC shake up, No one could take that chair while Ron still there. Talented guy though he'll be just fine.— Ian Reid (@IReidPucknology) June 20, 2016
I really liked Strombo hosting Hockey Night In Canada. Most people don't know that he got his start in sports before he was a VJ.— Brittany C (@BChristopo) June 20, 2016
But while much of the conversation was a debate on Strombolopolous’ merits as a hockey broadcaster, for some fans it was all about the possible return of Ron.
Great to hear Ron Mclean will be back at the helm for hockey night in Canada, taking over for Strombo next season #????— Josh Hunter (@Huntdaddy9) June 20, 2016
I think most people are happy @RonMacLeanHTH is back where he always should have been. Just wasn't the right fit for Strombo— Bob on my Knob (@Bobbyonmyknobby) June 20, 2016
Stroumboulopoulos joined HNIC in 2014, after Rogers picked the property up for a whopping $5.2-billion dollars in a 12 year deal.
MacLean, meanwhile, is in the middle of a four-year contract hosting the Sunday program “Rogers Hometown Hockey.”
But the possible move comes after a tough year for Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada.
The absence of Canadian teams in the playoffs meant ratings dipped to levels unseen in years, with fewer than a million viewers tuning in for games in the first round.