Just a quick post for this afternoon, with a couple of news bulletins about Hockey Night in Canada. Earlier in the week I speculated on CBC needing to hire a few new on-air personalities to replace Pierre Lebrun, Jeff Marek and Scott Morrison, all of whom departed over the summer. This morning former Fan590 host Gord Stellick posted on his Twitter account that he is leaving Rogers Media to join CBC as the HNIC Radio host. Hockey Night in Canada has since confirmed this, stating that a new HNIC Radio host will be officially introduced on Tuesday. Stellick will start immediately at the CBC, with his first day on the new job being on Monday. Stellick will also appear on the television side of Hockey Night, most likely as a guest on The Hotstove some weeks.
Earlier this week Toronto Sports Media reported that LeafsTV anchor/reporter Andi Petrillo has left the MLSE networks to join Hockey Night as well. It isn’t confirmed what role Petrillo will play at CBC, but a good bet might be a rinkside reporter. This is just speculation, but CBC could be moving Cassie Campbell into a new role, which would open up a spot for Petrillo to report on Canadiens broadcasts. It is also possible CBC could add in rinkside reporters for games in Ottawa and Winnipeg this season. I still think that CBC should hire Bob Harwood to report on Canadiens broadcasts, but it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.
It looks like Nabil Karim will take over for Jeff Marek as the host of CBC’s iDesk segment. I think that Karim is an excellent choice for CBC; I really enjoyed his work as the host of some CBC soccer broadcasts over the summer. A lot of people really like Marek, but personally I prefer Karim. I’m not sure how much of a hockey background he has though. He is an alum of the Fox Soccer Report, which has produced a few of Canada’s top sportscasters. There are also rumours that David Amber will get this position, but honestly I’m not sure about that. Amber would have to accept a reduced role from his current position at NHL Network. And again, Karim has more potential, so I think it makes more sense for CBC to promote from within.
And lastly, CBC will need a replacement for Scott Morrison on the iDesk. Look for current CBCSports.ca writer Tim Wharnsby to fill this position. I have no confirmation of this whatsoever, but with the Morrison move coming so close to the hockey season, he is the only analyst that makes sense for the position. Wharnsby could also make an odd appearance on The Hotstove if CBC doesn’t hire a full-time replacement for Pierre Lebrun. The same is true for Glenn Healy and Elliotte Friedman.
Also of note, there still hasn’t been an announcement on who will call Winnipeg Jets games on CBC. Curt Keilback and Bray May is the pairing that makes the most sense to me though.