NOTE: For those who wish to just sign the petition, please visit: Bring Back Ron Duguay Petition
In a move that hasn’t been announced yet by MSG Networks, Jeff Filippi, Executive Producer of MSG Networks, has informed two-time Emmy Award winning analyst, Ron Duguay, that he will no longer be needed by the network, effective immediately. To avoid any confusion, Duguay was not fired, let go or dismissed from his job. Duguay’s contract was up and he was told that he would not be re-signed by MSG Networks.
I must also make it clear that MSG Networks operates independently from the Rangers. While under the same corporate umbrella, this was not a RANGERS decision, this was a MSG NETWORKS decision.
When I asked Duguay for comment, he said he will still be part of the Rangers and work with the alumni. As far as who replaces Duguay, that is up in the air. Anson Carter would make sense, since he already has an affiliation with MSG Networks and has the MSG Hockey Show, which is filmed in the same studio location.
Obviously, for New York Ranger fans, this is a crushing blow, as Ron Duguay is a fan favorite and someone who transcends multiple generations of Ranger fans.
Ron Duguay, who older fans will remember as part of the “Hockey Sock Rock” Rangers, was beloved during his days as a Ranger on Broadway. To give younger fans a reference, he was as admired and as respected as Mats Zuccarello. Duguay, during his playing days, was often covered by the local media for not only his play on the ice, but for his nightlife, where Duguay palled around with many famous celebrities of his era.
After hanging up his NHL skates in 1989, Duguay bounced around and played in smaller leagues. After a coaching stint at the minor league level, Duguay accepted a position with the MSG Networks in 2007.
For the last 12 years, in my opinion, Ron Duguay was the best analyst the MSG Networks had. What drew my attention, and the attention of many more, was Duguay was never afraid to speak up. Keep in mind, while a studio analyst is paid to speak their mind and tell viewers things that they may have not picked up otherwise, under the MSG Network umbrella, announcers & analysts have to walk a fine line when criticizing the team.
Don’t forget, after all, MSG Networks fired one of the greatest broadcasters of all time, in Marv Albert. Albert wasn’t fired because of anything that happened in his personal life. No, Albert was fired because, <GASP> he dared to criticize the Knicks during the 2003-2004 season. And for the record, the Knicks have made it out of the first round only once this millennium. In other words, as one of the most futile franchises in sports, the MSG Networks wanted Marv Albert to play pitchman and ad executive, and not do what he was paid to do – to call the game and talk about the team.
Marv Albert was fired three years before Ron Duguay started working with MSG Networks. Since Duguay was such a hit with fans during his playing days, it was a great hire. Duguay took to television easily and the fans enjoyed his work. Unlike other MSG Network personalities of that time, and of today, Duguay was never afraid to openly criticize the team, despite MSG Networks firing one of the very best, just three years prior to Duguay’s arrival.
Since day one of his employment with MSG Networks, Ron Duguay has always told it like it is. I have praised his work heavily on this site on countless occasions. I’ve often found that when Duguay says something, even if some don’t agree, what he says usually happens. After all, what’s the word the Rangers & new Coach David Quinn keep pounding in every interview? That word is PHYSICAL. Duguay has been an advocate for the Rangers getting more physical and here we are. Keep this paragraph in mind as you read ahead.
In a world where sports analysts on television have become clean-cut bobbing heads in suits, Duguay was the opposite. For Ranger fans, Duguay was our Keith Hernandez. Duguay, while knowing how to play the game in the corporate world that television has become, also knew how to let his personality shine. Instead of being a random suit or an ex-player just trying to say the right things for a pay check, Duguay brought flair to the studio.
As an analyst who won two Emmy Awards, Ron knew when to be light-hearted and when to be serious. As a former player, he was able to bring a unique and proven insight into our homes. As new faces came in and out the studio over the last 12 years, Duguay remained and never feared to push the envelope. He praised the team when the team was good. He criticized the team when the team was down.
Simply put, unlike other studio analysts out there, what Ranger fans respect is that Duguay never sugar-coated anything. He never lied to you, nor did you ever feel like he was trying to sell you a time-share in some far off destination.
During Duguay’s run as a studio analyst with MSG Networks, it seems that no Ranger affiliated charity event goes on without him. Whether it’s the Garden of Dreams, 5K Runs, the Junior Rangers, Golf Outings, Casino Nights, or whatever else you can think of, Ron Duguay is there. And that’s just the stuff that’s publicized.
What I truly respect about Duguay is this is a guy who could of just collected a check to talk hockey. Instead, Duguay has made himself a fixture in numerous communities of “Rangerstown” and has been a perfect representative of the franchise. Not only is Duguay good at his job, he’s a celebrity that gives back and isn’t doing it for the publicity. He genuinely enjoys the work.
To briefly recap Ron Duguay’s affiliation with the Rangers, let’s do a quick check list:
- Popular with fans. Check.
- Good at his job. Check.
- Great representative of the team & of MSG Networks. Check.
- Awarded with two Emmy’s for being the best in his field. Check.
- Challenging Walt Frazier for the craziest clothes in NY. Check. (Okay, I’ll admit, that’s a challenge no one will win!)
So how does a guy who’s been a model employee, great at his job, and respected by his audience get the boot? I emailed MSG Networks to find out, but did not get an answer. I can only simply speculate. It is of my opinion (again, no one confirmed this to me, the only thing I confirmed was Ron Duguay was not re-signed) that Ron Duguay is the latest victim of PC America.
Before pressing on, just google “Ron Duguay”. You don’t even have to use the word “charity” in the google search. When you google “Ron Duguay”, you will find thousands upon thousands of stories where Ron Duguay donated his time and efforts at a random charity event. Duguay could be raising money for a youth hockey program one day, raise money for cancer research the next and then be raising money for sick children the week after. In those stories, you will see Duguay taking pictures with all types of fans, whether it’s kids, adults, white people, black people, straight people, gay people, skinny people or in my case, beer belly people:
I don’t mean to bore you or go on a huge political rant here, but no matter how you feel about politics, one can’t deny the fact that this world is becoming too “politically correct.” Everyone is offended by everything. I’ve talked about this before on these blogs, I don’t know how an up and coming stand-up comedian can even get a break anymore. No one wants to laugh. In a lot of cases, people go out of their way to be offended.
Case in point, and again, refer to my old blogs for the full story & my reaction at the time – when the Rangers fired Jim Cerny and hired Amanda Borges in his place, I questioned the firing. All I said was that it made no sense to fire a hockey man like Jim Cerny, and replace him with a young female, who and get this, ADMITTED SHE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT HOCKEY.
Take Cerny and his age & looks out of the equation. Now take Borges and her age and looks out of the equation. You tell me who is the better hire for a hockey job:
- Applicant A – a person who has covered hockey for 20+ years and has sources all over the league. Before getting a job covering hockey, this person grew up watching the sport, thus has memories of the game.
- Applicant B – a person who never watched hockey, doesn’t know anyone in hockey and has no sources in the league.
Is this line of thinking out of line? Apparently to some people, it was. One of the responses I got to that blog was someone saying, “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION AMANDA BORGES!!!!” I mean come on, the woman told you herself she knew nothing about hockey! All I was trying to relay was thought I thought Cerny’s firing was unfair.
Say Jim Cerny was a douche, hard to work with, whatever, and he had to go. Fine. At least replace him with someone who was suitable for the job. If you wanted to groom Borges, that’s fine too, but I wouldn’t have her be the replacement.
Again, this is me SPECULATING, not reporting, but I believe Duguay not getting re-signed was because of his comments on a post game show from January 21st of this year. I talked about it at the time and I truly felt then and I truly feel now, that it was a non issue. However, the liberal media thinks otherwise. Simply put, because no one wants the headaches; such as networks, sponsors and decision makers, these groups now kowtow to the people who preach tolerance, yet go bananas if you don’t agree with their thinking.
Check out this story from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/rangers/2018/01/22/rangers-analyst-ron-duguay-suggests-officials-womens-hockey/1053220001/
In short, Ron Duguay talked about the officials being soft and reffing a Rangers/Kings game like it was a women’s hockey game. What’s the big deal? There’s no hitting/body checking allowed in women’s hockey. They have separate rules. Instead of going after the rule makers for giving women hockey different rules than the men, the fake liberal outrage landed on Duguay’s doorstep.
You can even see that the producers had a cow, because after making the comment, Duguay was forced to explain himself after commercial. And that’s what he did. He explained there is no hitting in women’s hockey. Of course, in this viral world, where everyone is out to tear down everyone and be fake offended, the clips of Duguay went nationwide. Here are the two biggest viewed clips, and notice the snarky comments made by the video uploaders:
— Woj (@BryanWojtanik) January 22, 2018
That above clip was what Duguay said about the refs. The person who posted this, Bryan Wojtanik, has publicly posted about his own battles with depression and anxiety, which I found ironic for two reasons. One, Bryan didn’t seem to feel any anxiety in posting this, in an attempt to shed false light on Duguay, especially with his “YIKES” comment. I mean really, what is so “YIKES” about this?
Secondly, Duguay has probably worked for a charity that raised money for people fighting depression and here is Bryan Wojtanik trying to bring negativity on Duguay. Keep in mind, Wojtanik has been off social media for 7 weeks because of his depression. This was the last thing he posted:
In either event, let’s hope Mr. Wojtanik overcomes his issues and I wish him the best.
After the first clip, the broadcast went to commercial. When they came back, Duguay then explained himself. Hockey scribe, Greg Wyshynski tweeted the clip:
Here is Ron Duguay’s clarification on that “reffing a women’s game” line earlier (forgive the radiator hissing) pic.twitter.com/CAXwAQUBB1
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 22, 2018
Keep in mind, this is the same Greg Wyshynski that tweeted about how “HOT” and how “GOOD LOOKING” the women wrestlers were at during this year’s “Wrestlemania”. The tweets came off like it was “Beavis and Butthead” at a strip club. However, Greg Wyshynski could be the father of these women, so it came off kinda creepy. After all, how dare Mr. Wyshynski talk about the looks of the female wrestlers! I don’t recall Wyshynski talking about the looks of the male wrestlers!
And let’s not forget this point – DUGUAY CLARIFIED EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANT ON THE BROADCAST!
Obviously, with Wyshynski, I’m being facetious, but this is what these social justice warrior types do. They don’t care what craziness they come up with and whose job it affects. Duguay is outright telling you what he means, but even Duguay’s partner, Steve Valiquette, knows about the political correctness faux pas/snafu, as is evident in his reaction and shart-like laughter.
After Wyshynski’s tweet, the story went viral, as is evident with USA TODAY, who rarely covers hockey, covering the story.
If explaining himself on the air wasn’t enough, Duguay even issued an apology to fan the false flames of outrage:
So to quickly recap, Duguay said something that people who look to be offended ran with. Duguay explained what he meant on-air. That didn’t matter. Duguay then issued an apology, but that didn’t matter either. He was immediately branded as “sexist.”
Ron Duguay is now 61 years old, and you never heard one story about him being sexist before. Again, he works with women, does charity work with people from all sexes and backgrounds, and oh yeah, has daughters himself! All of a sudden, in year 60 of his life, he says one thing that people WANT to misinterpret, and now he’s branded as a sexist. In this now PC world, this is what I think did him in, despite astute hockey fans knowing exactly what he meant.
Even the NWHL, who tried to publicly shame Duguay at the onset of this story, (in an attempt to get press for their non-profitable league) changed their tune and invited Duguay to a game. After all, if the NWHL should be upset at anyone, maybe they should be upset at whoever made their rule book. Where’s the “Put Hitting Into Women’s Hockey” campaign?
Politics is an ugly game, and to me, Ron Duguay just became the latest victim.
Duguay has made one public comment thus far about his status. Responding to a tweet, Duguay said, “Thx for your support, I’ve truly enjoyed the last 12 years being a face and voice for the
This is where I’m asking Ranger fans to step in.
I have started a petition, asking Jeff Filippi of MSG Networks, to reconsider his decision. To visit and sign the petition, please go here:
Ron Duguay has done a lot of good in our communities. It is time for us to pay back the favor and let Jeff Filippi and MSG Networks know that want a good man back at his job.
For fans who want to directly contact Jeff Filippi and show your support for Ron Duguay, you can call Filippi at (212) 465-5926 or tweet at him @JeffFilippi
While online petitions may not have the best success rate in the corporate world, by signing this petition, you are giving a vote of support and respect to Ron Duguay. I hope you take the time out to sign the petition.
Bring Back Doogie!
Thanks for reading and as always…
“LET’S GO RANGERS”
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter
UPDATE: 7:00PM – MSG Networks are supposed to issue a press release about this tomorrow.