What a crock that apology from Ron McLean is, and the statement from his boss, that said it had "nothing to do with francophone..."
First HNIC and TSN, to feed their news cycle, hype up a controversy about a disallowed goal, when experts like Kerry Fraser and Stéphane Auger clearly explain that it was a correct call. They blithely ignore them and immediately pass the mike to Jeff O'Neil and P.J. Stock so that they can 'disagree' and ramble on how that goal should have counted.
Then Ron McLean, after the win, when the series is over, keeps feeding the 'controversy', clearly stating that the French-Canadian referee shouldn't have been appointed to work that game, to quell any suspicion Tampa might have had. Yet Tampa was quite sober in its post-game comments, they were measured and fatalistic, not really blaming the officiating. Ron still took the two extra steps to feed the beast.
In the olden days it would have been phone calls he'd have to worry about, but now it's instantaneous, he gets shelled on Twitter, and clumsily backtracks, trying to indicate that it's the 'local' angle he's worried about, not French-Canadian refs per se. Except in his decades on air, he's never, ever raised the issue of a Port Alberni ref working a Canucks game, or a Brampton ref working a Leafs game. Canadian citizens John Smith or Joe Brown can work any game coast to coast to coast, but Canadian citizen Jean Côté must be restricted to only certain games.
HNIC used to be a quality program, almost stodgy in its approach. Dick Irvin, Dave Hodge, there were excellent broadcasters working there who provided valuable programming to the Canadian public. Now that they're a lame duck, I get pangs of regret, I fear what the clowns at Sportsnet will do, the onslaught of cretinism and commercialization that will swamp us next season, but I have to be realistic. The putrid corpse that is being "Weekend at Bernie's"'ed as the current incarnation of HNIC, with P.J. Stock and Don Cherry and Gary Galley and now even Ron McLean, must be interred.