Dean McAmmond

MacLean loving Hometown Hockey tour

Rogers Sportsnet Hometown Hockey, which broadcasts live from Vernon City Hall this afternoon.

When he was a kid in Whitehorse, where his father was stationed in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Ron MacLean remembers standing in line for an hour to get Bobby Hull’s autograph.

In Halifax, MacLean met hockey legends Jean Beliveau and Gordie Howe, each smiling for autographs and spending time with kids.

It’s those memories that fuels MacLean’s passion for hockey, and his passion as a co-host travelling across the country during hockey season for Rogers Sportsnet Hometown Hockey, which broadcasts live from Vernon City Hall this afternoon.

“Sunday night is an extension of Saturday night,” said MacLean from Toronto Friday, the day before his regular weekend gig as host of Hockey Night In Canada. He then flies out Sunday morning to join up with the Hometown Hockey crew.

“What I love about Sunday night is we are able to take viewers everywhere in Canada.”

MacLean will join co-host Tara Slone to broadcast live from Spirit Square starting with the Rogers Sportsnet Hometown Hockey pre-game show at 4 p.m. The broadcast game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks starts at 4:30 p.m.

“I’ll do some meet and greet before the show, then after the game starts, I’ll be able to sign autographs and pose for pictures. I love that part,” said MacLean, 56, who lists Red Deer as his hometown.

MacLean is quite familiar with the Okanagan. A May long weekend in the MacLean household including downhill skiing at Sunshine Village in Banff or at Lake Louise, then heading west for some waterskiing on Okanagan Lake at Westbank.


He is also quite familiar with hockey in smalltown Canada.

MacLean recalls refereeing a Junior C level game in Ontario between the Paris Mounties and Rockton Real McCoys.

“I was standing at centre ice; the teams had their pre-game warm-ups so the players were standing for the national anthem with steam rising off their necks; the anthem was sung sweetly by a local singer,” he said. “I loved it.”

It’s places like Paris and Rockton and Thompson, Man. or Petawawa, Ont., he said, where the Hometown Hockey tour really hit home.

In Vernon, MacLean and Slone will be joined by NHL alumni Kirk McLean, Russ Courtnall, Brent Gilchrist and Dean McAmmond, the latter two who live in the Okanagan.

Slone will host the Scotiabank Hotstove on the main stage at 12:30 p.m. with McLean and Courtnall. Fans can get autographs from both players at the autograph tent at 1 p.m.

There will be two performances of The Hockey Circus Show on-stie at 1:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m .

Slone and MacLean will be at the Broadcast Studio for the Hometown Hockey Live Pre-Game Show at 4 p.m. The NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks will be on Sportsnet at 4:30 p.m. The game will include stories from Vernon including that of Larry Kwong, the first Asian-Canadian to play in the NHL in 1948.

Traffic on 30th Street between 32nd and 35th Avenues is, again, closed for the duration of today.

The roadway will reopen to the public in the early hours Monday.

See Sunday’s newspaper for a list of today’s events or click here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Deeply sorry’: Former West Kelowna teacher offers emotional apology to student he sexually exploited

Judge will make decision on Bradley Furman’s sentencing in the coming weeks

South Okanagan rescue hopes to find injured hawk’s owner

The South Okanagan Rehab Centre for Owls found the rare Harris hawk on Thursday

Big White warns skiers to avoid tree wells after two fatalities at other resorts

Tree wells form when low branches at the base of coniferous trees stop snow from settling at the trunk

Proposed sentence for West Kelowna teacher who exploited student more fitting of manslaughter: Lawyer

The Crown is suggesting a sentence of 30 months for sexual exploitation, 71 months total

Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Most Read