Veteran hockey broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean were honoured Monday with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Speaking at a ceremony in downtown Toronto, Walk of Fame CEO Melanie Hurley said the pair have made incredible contributions to Canadian culture.
Cherry and MacLean have hosted “Coach’s Corner” on “Hockey Night in Canada” together for nearly 30 years.
Cherry, a former NHL coach of the year and minor-league hockey player, started the segment in 1980.
MacLean joined as his co-host in 1987.
Cherry approved of their star’s design, joking that his name was on top “as it should be.”
“It feels good, this here,” Cherry said. “Ron, I know it means a lot to you.”
MacLean said getting the star was special, but noted that his partnership with Cherry was not always so well-received.
“When we first started ‘Coach’s Corner,’ we got nominated for a Gemini and we lost to Bob Izumi’s fishing show,” said MacLean. “Grapes said ‘That’s it, I don’t ever want to have my name put up for anything again, keep me out of these stupid awards.'”
The Walk of Fame distinction comes as MacLean prepares to return as the main host of “Hockey Night in Canada” after a two-year absence.
He was replaced by George Stroumboulopoulos in 2014, after 27 years with the program, though he continued his role as “Coach’s Corner” sidekick and hosted “Hometown Hockey,” profiling towns across Canada.
On June 27, Rogers Sportsnet announced that Stroumboulopoulos would “depart the company to explore new creative opportunities,” and that MacLean would be back hosting the “Hockey Night in Canada” early game on Saturday nights.
“The big chair is next to Don,” MacLean said. “That was always my thing,”
But MacLean says he feels lucky to be back in the top job.
“A lot of nice things have been said, so I felt humbled by it.”