According to a report from Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons, Sportsnet play by play broadcaster Paul Romanuk will NOT be calling games for the network next season.
Broadcast Rumblings: don’t expect Paul Romanuk back calling hockey games on Sportsnet this coming season. Should be announced shortly.
Romanuk, along with color commentator Greg Millen, called the majority of Toronto Maple Leafs games for Sportsnet in 2017-18 and… well let’s just say that fan sentiment was decidedly mixed on whether or not Romanuk was ultimately good at his job.
The truth is, while Romanuk may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, he’s still a knowledgable hockey broadcaster with an impressive resume. We never like to see anyone lose their livelihood and we wish him all the best in his broadcasting future. That being said, if this news opens up the door for a Leafs broadcasting legend like Joe Bowen or Bob Cole to take on more of the team’s games in 2018-19 then it’s all for the best.
No official word yet from Sportsnet on who will take on Romanuk’s games next season, but fans have already taken to social media to drum up support for both Bowen and Cole, with some even using the Twitter hash tag #BringBackBowen.
Of course, both Bowen and Cole are both legendary broadcasters in Canada, specifically as they relate to the Maple Leafs. Bowen is sometimes called the “voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs” and has called over 3000 Leafs games over the course of his nearly 40 year career. His catchphrase of “Holy Mackinaw!”, can be heard not only on television and radio, but across backyard rinks and ponds across Ontario.
The 85 year old Cole is perhaps the most widely recognized voice in all of hockey broadcasting, especially in Canada. The veteran Hockey Night in Canada play by play man called nearly every Leafs Saturday night game from 1980 until 2008, and has continued to call games on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and Hometown Hockey broadcasts over the past decade. He’s a true legend of the game and, while he may not be as quick as he used to be, he has more knowledge and experience of the game than anyone else in broadcasting. He’s truly a living legend in Canada.