Haliburton hyped for Hometown Hockey
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | October 12, 2017|
After broadcasting the Habs-Leafs game Saturday night from Toronto, MacLean will make his way to Head Lake Park on Sunday. It’s not his first trip to the county, either.
When he and wife Cari first moved to Oakville, they used to holiday at Sir Sam’s Inn on Eagle Lake. Walt McKechnie’s home was just down the road and they would visit. “So, we would take lots of trips up to Haliburton and just adore the area.”
He is looking forward to catching up with people that he’s come to know in a long and storied broadcast career, people such as Ian ‘Scotty’ Morrison, McKechnie and his former boss from CBC sports, Alan Clark.
He and co-host Tara Slone will be sitting down with Morrison and Ron Stackhouse during the Sunday broadcast. It’s a three-minute segment but MacLean said that’ll be tricky with Scotty, who likes to talk.
“There’s no chance with Scotty … no way we can do it in three minutes … cause Scotty … one answer will be three minutes. It’ll be great, but that will be it,” he joked.
The co-host added there’ll be a feature on Haliburton Hockey Haven, which was “so ahead of [its] time … everything is skills development now … the Haliburton Hockey Haven school was sort of the forerunner of skills development.”
He’s a big fan of Cody Hodgson, too, saying, “he was always just a really thoughtful, kind individual who you knew would be a success as a human. He just had a presence … very special guy.”
And student of the game, Matt Duchene, whom MacLean “gets a great kick out of … his passion for the sport, just to talk to him about what stick any player in the NHL has.”
It’s the smallest town Hometown Hockey will have visited to date and MacLean is fine with that.
“I’m always amazed at what small town means. It means you can rely on, and you know, your neighbours.”
He said in larger centers, people “don’t tend to have a wide open lens through which to see things … there’s very little interaction with someone who thinks or does things differently but in a small town, it happens. [You are] forced to see different ways of thinking. I love that about a small town.”
He said hosting Hometown Hockey is a grounding experience in many ways. Going to places such as Grand Falls-Windsor, NL and Portage la Prairie, MB brings he and his colleagues in contact with minor hockey players and municipal officials. MacLean says he doesn’t feel totally disconnected “to the reality or the soul of the game” in those places.
Personally, he thinks the trip to Haliburton will be “invigorating. I know the area … just like a zen moment to get away from the hoopla of Hockey Night in Canada or the NHL where everything’s bright lights and big stage … that’s quickly stripped away when you get to places with fresh water and autumn leaves and the air just has a purity to it.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.