06/27/2016 09:27 EDT | Updated 06/28/2017 01:12 EDT

CP NewsAlert:Sportsnet confirms Ron MacLean to replace George Stroumboulopoulos at HNIC

TORONTO — Ron MacLean is officially back as host of "Hockey Night in Canada."

Sportsnet confirmed today that the veteran broadcaster will replace George Stroumboulopoulos in the main chair next season, returning to a role he held for nearly 30 years.

MacLean will host the early game on Saturday night while David Amber will front the late game.

Sportsnet says Stroumboulopoulos is leaving "to explore new creative opportunities."

The announcement comes following a season of low hockey ratings for Sportsnet.

Stroumboulopoulos became the host of "Hockey Night in Canada'' in 2014 after Rogers acquired the NHL rights in a 12-year, $5.2-billion deal.

MacLean saw his role reduced to being Don Cherry's sidekick on Coach's Corner and hosting the Sunday night show "Hometown Hockey.''

News that Stroumboulopoulos was on his way out was reported a week ago by the Toronto Star.


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