ACCOMPLISHED - Broadcaster Ron MacLean will be joining the festivities this weekend during the Rogers Hometown Hockey event in Lacombe. photo submitted

Ron MacLean thrilled to be a part of Rogers Hometown Hockey

Red Deer native always happy to support Central Alberta events

Ron MacLean is anticipating a fabulous trip down memory lane during his time at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Lacombe this weekend. MacLean and Tara Slone will serve as hosts, there will be meet-and-greet opportunities with NHL alumni Rich Sutter and Darcy Tucker, plenty of live local entertainment and lots of fun activities for the whole family.

Meanwhile, the famed broadcaster, who hails from Red Deer, has certainly made his mark on the Canadian landscape as a polished and accomplished journalist in his own right – from those early days at CKRD when one of his tasks was doing the weather at 6 p.m.

That was way back in the early 1980s he noted during a chat from Oakville, Ontario.

Surprisingly, his whole foray into journalism wasn’t exactly a planned thing – MacLean had originally wanted to head to the University of Alberta and earn his education degree.

“What happened was when you were the noon to 4 p.m. DJ on CKRD radio – it didn’t matter who you were – you are the weather presenter on TV at 6 p.m.,” he said with a laugh. “You got off the shift at 4 p.m,. you did a few commercials and go on TV and present the weather.”

But it was key experiences like that that helped provide the foundation of a tremendously successful career in broadcasting. Interestingly, MacLean had no inkling of an impending career breakthrough that would lead to such exciting, international opportunities over the years.

“I’ve written about in my book – I’ve always been kind of stumbling along with good luck and happenstance,” he said, reflecting.

“And I always feel guilty when I do those talks at a school career day – I’m supposed to give motivational pep talks, and I always revert to this idea of how this magic wand seemed to keep hitting me on the head and driving me in new directions.

“But I ended up with a job that I enjoy – I loved hockey and I loved to watch it, too. I sort of had built my whole childhood around watching sports.

“I was an only child, so when I wasn’t out playing, I would be in my bedroom watching sports on television,” he said. “That’s how life is – I ended up stumbling into radio in Red Deer and I had no ambition to do that – I wanted to go to U of A and become a teacher.”

But through a chain of events, MacLean ended up filling in for a high school friend at CKRD.

“Then I got to be a DJ, and before you know it, I was introducing songs. That teaches you about timing – it teaches you how long a four-second intro is versus a 22 second intro.

“So when you had to craft your on-air bit, you had to mentally edit it to get a sense of time. That was such a gift for television – not even knowing at the time I would be doing television,” he said. “But I was inadvertendly getting lucky and training for the career.

“It will be a convergence of it all this weekend,” he noted of the Rogers Hometown Hockey event, something he is of course personally looking forward to as well with his many connections to Central Alberta.

“We had our engagement photos taken at the Lacombe Nurseries in 1981,” he said, adding that his wife Cari will be joining him on the trip out west.

He also remembers being struck by the talents of the Sutter family as the guys rose in their individual hockey careers both on the home front and beyond. “To see the Sutters repeatedly coming out of Viking, into Red Deer, into Lethbridge and onto the big show – it seemed like an achievable goal,” he said of the inspiration that family provided to countless local youth. “You could just see that they had something,” he said, adding that Lacombe ball games were also a popular past-time back in the day as well. “There’s a lot of stuff that will be flooding back,” he added. “I’ll try to not get too reflective on the show, but boy, it will be there.

“What am I looking forward to? The whole thing!”

Meanwhile, there will be something for each member of the family to enjoy during the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.

Highlights include feature games, prize giveaways, fun activities and live local entertainment.

There will also be a photo-op with the Stanley Cup – get a chance to see the greatest trophy in sports up close-and-personal as the Stanley Cup visits Lacombe.

For MacLean, visiting communities across the nation for events like Rogers Hometown Hockey is always a joy. This man has a passion for Canadian communities, and it shines through at every turn.

And over the years, his commitment and love for Central Alberta hasn’t dimmed one bit.

“My friends are really close-knit and I’ll see them all on the 48 hours I’m there,” he said. “Your heart gets really filled with appreciation for a Red Deer upbringing.”

For details, visit Rogers Hometown Hockey at www.hometownhockey.com.

news@lacombeexpress.com

Just Posted

Ponoka church hosts community summer sports series

Basketball and volleyball brings Filipino families together as part of a summer sports series.

Red Deer Lake residents have seen water levels drop steadily

AEP study shows levels on straight line decline for 40 years, investigation will continue

Ponoka high school students fundraise for women’s shelter

Creating awareness for #MMIW Ponoka Secondary Campus students hosted a bake sale

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Ponoka Christian School among group suing province

Group suing Alberta over Bill 24, the act supporting gay/straight alliances

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada, in May

It might be hot in Alberta, but some of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

No suitors emerge for pipeline project stake as Kinder Morgan deadline looms

Analysts and observers remain perplexed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s comment last week that “plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project”.

Energy wells plugged as Hawaii’s volcano sends lava nearby

A spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation in Hawaii

Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to ‘SPYGATE’

“SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!” Trump said on Twitter

Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

Literary agent Andrew Wylie said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

Most Read