Ron MacLean says Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night is the fruit on the tree when it comes to the game Canadians have grown to love.
More importantly, the host of Hockey Night in Canada says celebrations of the game like Hockey Day in Canada and Hometown Hockey are the roots of the tree and it’s always important to never forget them.
MacLean is in Corner Brook this week as part of the Sportsnet crew participating in the 2018 Hockey Day in Canada events being held in Corner Brook all this week, culminating with a live broadcast of Coach’s Corner Brook from the Corner Brook Civic Centre Saturday night during the West Coast Senior Hockey League game between the hometown Corner Brook Royals and Stephenvlle Jets.
MacLean has a busy itinerary that sees him travel around the country, but he’s one of those guys who has no problem getting a few winks while in the air so he’s learned to cope with the long days.
For his Hometown Hockey segments every Sunday it’s a matter of flying into a hockey community and saying hello and then leaving after a full day of events, but it’s a little bit better when it comes to Hockey Day in Canada because he gets to settle into the community and hear some of the great stories that Newfoundlanders have to tell.
“They are just grassroots stories that always sing,” he said of the storytelling he enjoys during his travels as he gets to check out some of the tiny hockey communities throughout the country.
He wishes he had more time to spend with people when he do hit the road, but he’s thankful for the time he do get to share with people who love the game and see some cool places along the way.
“I resent the fact that I have such a short time when I do come to visit,” McLean said Wednesday as a number of NHL alumni and Sportsnet staff arrived at the Glynmill Inn for what is expected to be a crazy few days with a busy schedule offering young and old something to do to celebrate with their heroes from the past.
He believes events like Hockey Day in Canada always seem to provide a lift to the communities where it’s held and it gives people a better sense of the dedication and commitment coaches and parents invest in their son or daughter playing the game.
“Instead of just being on the television it connects the dots a little and I think that’s important,” he said.
MacLean will fly across the country Sunday to ensure he’s ready for a Hometown Hockey segment in British Columbia so it will be another hectic week for him.
But, he’s not going to complain because he loves what he does and looks forward to hearing more stories about this province and its friendly people.