While everyone was focused on the Don Cherry Deathwatch at Hockey Night in Canada, we didn’t see the corporation slip Glen Healy the death card at the Mother Corp.
Healy announced today that for all intents and purposes his time with HNIC has come to an end, this after Healey refused to accept exclusivity terms with the CBC. Healey who was third on the CBC depth chart in analysts has also provided his services for TSN and Leafs TV over the years, a plan he had hoped to continue with in the up coming years. However, CBC officials saw things a little differently and suggested he curtail his work for outside agencies without benefit of an increase in income, a condition that Healey did not wish to accept.
While other CBC/HNIC announcers appear on other networks Healy is the only one who appears on a national broadcast, which somehow bothered the execs at Head Office. Harry Neale and Greg Millen who both have side deals with regional carriers of hockey games are also in negotiations but haven’t been confronted with the exclusivity clause in their talks.
With the popular Healy taking a hike, the pressure will be on to bring back Don Cherry who was on thin ice as early as one month ago, but is seemingly back on track for another year at the Coach’s Corner. While he hasn’t signed a contract yet, it’s expected that he will be brought back into the fold rather quickly now.
The Healy departure will create a rather large void in the HNIC product, though we might see even more of Kelly Hrudey next year, as Hrudey held down the fort in the second half of the double headers and has proven to be a very popular addition to the HNIC stable.
While there is still a slight chance that Healey will be brought back, one thing is certain we’ll probably have yet another goaltender handling the analyst duties. For whatever reason, it seems that only those that have toiled between the pipes can fit in before a camera. Too bad that Ken Dryden fellow went and got himself elected to Parliament and most likely elevated to Paul Martin’s cabinet. There was a dream job waiting for him at Hockey Night in Canada!