Facebook group wants Ron MacLean to stay away from Yellowknife for Hockey Day in Canada

Don Cherry photo and logo from Facebook

As the City of Yellowknife gears up for Hockey Day in Canada in February, a Facebook group has been created to try to keep Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean from attending the event.

The group, with more than a dozen members so far, is reportedly upset with MacLean for his apparent lack of support for his former Coach’s Corner co-host Don Cherry who was fired last month.

“Stay home Ron MacLean. Yellowknife doesn’t want you for Hockey Day,” the group states. “He’s a coward stabbing his buddy in the back like that,” states one of its members.   

Cherry was let go by Sportsnet for referring to immigrants as “you people” while accusing them of not buying poppies during a pre-Remembrance Day installment of Coach’s Corner.

MacLean didn’t chastise Cherry at the time and has said little in support of him since.

MacLean is expected in Yellowknife in early February for the Hockey Day in Canada event, but it is expected Cherry will not.

The whole game of hockey has been under the microscope since Cherry was fired with several coaches being accused of bullying and in at least one case, racism.

Meanwhile, The City of Yellowknife and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), have been working closely with Sportsnet and Scotiabank in the lead up to Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada 2020.

The event will take place from February 5-8, 2020, in Yellowknife, located on Chief Drygeese Territory and the home of YKDFN.

“Tickets and the Official Commemorative Program for the event will officially be on sale, as of noon on Wednesday, December 11,” said Mayor Rebecca Alty, co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee. “The four-day hockey festival will kick off with ‘Music of Hockey Day with Ron MacLean featuring Dave Bidini, Tara Slone, local musicians Wesley Hardisty, Digawolf, Karen Novak and many more. This week is full of community and family-friendly events for all ages.”

The four-day celebration continues with a banquet, exhibition games, hockey clinics, NHL Declaration of Principles Breakfast with ex-NHLer Andrew Ference and the Scotiabank Hockeyfest at Somba K’e, which will be broadcast nationally across Canada on Sportsnet.

Special guests, who will be making appearances at different events throughout the week, include Lanny McDonald, Darcy Tucker, Wendel Clark, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Bryan Trottier.

Each event, along with timings, locations and ticketing information can be found in the Official Commemorative Program.

The week will consist of a mixture of free, private and ticketed events.

Tickets and programs can be purchased as of December 11th online at www.yellowknife.ca/hockeydayincanada.

Limited Edition merchandise will be on sale at both Erasmus Apparel and Lake Awry in the coming weeks.

“The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is looking forward to this celebration of hockey and to sharing our love of the game with other Canadians,” said Chief Edward Sangris. “The Local Organizing Committee, volunteers and event organizers, have been hard at work and our communities will see their efforts realized as this event is shaping up to be truly spectacular.”

Residents can visit www.yellowknife.ca for all the latest information and volunteer registration.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.