SBD/April 23, 2014/Media

Ron MacLean Apologizes After French Referee Comments Cause Social Media Firestorm

MacLean suggested the NHL used a French referee to send a signal
"Hockey Night in Canada" host Ron MacLean has "apologized for setting off a social media firestorm" following yesterday's Canadiens-Lightning game, according to the CP. MacLean during the game "suggested a French-speaking referee should not have worked the game." The comment "apparently stemmed from a complaint by Lightning coach Jon Cooper who felt his team lost because of a bad call from a ref during Sunday's Game 3 defeat." MacLean suggested that the NHL "used a French referee to send a signal" to the Lightning in the wake of Cooper’s complaint. Later in the CBC broadcast, MacLean said that he "was sorry." He added it is "divisive any time you (make it) about French and English in our country" (CP, 4/23). The GLOBE & MAIL's Les Perreaux noted MacLean in his clarification "pointed out international competitions often use 'neutrals' from third countries to officiate." It is not clear how MacLean believed referee Francis Charron "is a 'local referee' for Habs games." Charron is "from Gatineau, Que., a suburb of Ottawa, where the Senators play." MacLean during the game said, "Why would you put yourself in that position? I thought it was a risky assignment." The CBC's Elliotte Friedman responded, "You know what? I just think it's a tough thing to say. I've heard it, I've heard these things before. I just think to label all of the referees that way is really unfair." The CBC's P.J. Stock "attempted to interrupt and change the subject." But Friedman asked MacLean point-blank, "So you're saying there should never be a French referee in Quebec?"  MacLean replied, "Just this time. Just after what happened in Game 3" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/23).

RATINGS NOTES: In St. Louis, Samantha Liss noted Blues-Blackhawks Western Conference quarterfinals Game 3 on Monday was the "highest-rated Blues game ever" on FS Midwest with an 11.9 local rating. That "tops the previous high" of 11.0 rating for Blues-Sharks Western Conference quarterfinals Game 3 in '12 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/22)....In Columbus, Aaron Portzline notes Blue Jackets-Penguins Eastern Conference quarterfinals Game 3 on Monday was the "most-watched Blue Jackets game" ever on FS Ohio, drawing an 8.27 local rating. The previous best was Red Wings-Blue Jackets Western Conference quarterfinals Game 1 in '09, which was the "first postseason game in franchise history" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/23). Also in Columbus, Shawn Mitchell noted the Blue Jackets-Penguins Game 2 broadcast on FS Ohio drew a 4.69 local rating, while Game 1 drew a 4.55 rating (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/22)....In Dallas, Barry Horn noted the Stars-Ducks Western Conference quarterfinals Game 3 on KTXA-Ind. drew a 2.1 local rating. The game began at 8:30pm CT, "30 minutes before first pitch" of the Rangers-A's game. That MLB matchup drew a 3.0 local rating on FS Southwest (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/22).

NEW BEGINNINGS: Panthers G Roberto Luongo and former NHL coach Claude Noel are joining NHL on TSN's first-round coverage of the '14 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Noel will appear on April 25-26, and Luongo on April 27-28 (TSN). The CBC, in partnership with its media sponsor Budweiser, throughout the playoffs is posting on its official @hockeynight Twitter account sponsored clips using SnappyTV, featuring video from each CBC game broadcast including highlight reel-worthy goals and overtime winners. This partnership is a first for "HNIC" and Budweiser and furthers the CBC's multi-platform approach to connecting with audiences across the county (CBC).
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