MacLean still considering PC leadership, despite contract extension

Teresa Wright
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Doug MacLean is still considering a run at the P.E.I. PC leadership.

Former NHL coach and sportscaster Doug MacLean has signed a multi-year contract extension to continue as a hockey analyst, but says he still is not ruling out a run for the PC leadership.

In an interview with The Guardian Friday, MacLean said his contract with Sportsnet has been extended by two years.

He says this extension does not change the fact he is considering putting his name forward for the permanent leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of P.E.I.

But it’s not a priority consideration for him at this time.

“It’s not really on the top of my mind… I haven’t even talked to anybody any further since the last time I spoke with you and some other (media) about it,” MacLean said.

MacLean is the most high profile of several names being floated as potential candidates for the permanent leadership of the Tories in P.E.I. He is currently the only person who has publicly stated he is even thinking about the job.

This is likely due to deep divisions within the party that have led to very public struggles over the question of leadership for the last few months.

The party’s troubles were evident again on Friday when it was announced to party members PC field organizer Jordan Fraser is resigning from this position at the end of the month.

Sources have told The Guardian he is leaving in frustration over internal squabbles that plagued the party for some time.

“While I am pleased for Jordan and supportive of his decision to pursue new career opportunities, I acknowledge the association will be challenged with his absence,” party president Blake Doyle wrote in an email to the PC membership.

“The executive have been advised of Jordan's interest to pursue new opportunities, and we are grateful he maintained his commitment to stay in his role until the party began the process of renewal and formal unification.”

MacLean said Friday he is aware of some of the problems that have faced the party since he first announced his interest in the permanent leadership in December, but admitted he has not followed the issues very closely.

Nonetheless, he said he is not concerned over the Tories’ current struggles.

“I think when you’re not in power, you’re always in turmoil, aren’t you?” MacLean said.

“Anytime there’s a leadership situation you always have challenges, I don’t see it as a big deal. They’ll eventually come together at the right time.”

In the meantime, MacLean said he will continue to mull over the possibility of putting his name forward as a leadership candidate.

“I’m not going to sit and say today that I’m totally focused on it because that’s not true. When the time comes to really make a decision, prior to that I’m going to talk to some people and go from there and just see where things sit at that particular time,” MacLean said.

“Who knows? A year from now when the decision probably has to be made there could be a total change and they may have someone else they really and truly want to lead. Then that would change my decision making.”

Organizations: NHL, Jordan's

Geographic location: P.E.I., Jordan

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Recent comments

  • merge the maritimes
    February 17, 2013 - 20:35

    PEI does not make any sense as a separate province. Maybe as a minor municipality in a much larger province, but not as a separate province. Hopefully this will be changed within a few years by the federal government. PEI was once part of Nova Scotia, maybe that should happen again.

  • justanotherislander
    February 17, 2013 - 12:30

    To 'Henry Sow': Henry dear, you really might consider increasing the scope of your reading. It was my preference not to take the Lord's name in vain in such a trivial matter, and you might check an up to date dictionary for the definition, and spelling of 'Gawd'. Please see the following: mainly humorous ....god, when used in expressions of fear, surprise, etc "Gawd help us, " she cried out. Oh gawd! You don't believe that do you?....from the Cambridge Dictionary. Also it may surprise you to learn that the scope of your 'power' does not extend to decisions on who is allowed or not allowed to participate in this forum. Possibly you have found that your bullying tactics work with some people, however; be assured, bullying does not work with all people.

  • Glad to be out of there
    February 16, 2013 - 21:06

    PEI looks bad Boys. Looking at it from away...

  • David
    February 16, 2013 - 13:53

    Free media attention needed.....this guy is like so many other people other parties always know they never actually run because they would all be equal to Mike Duffy in electibility but they love having their name in the media and the free attention.

  • Joe Blow
    February 16, 2013 - 13:33

    PEI needs to get away from having some big name person leading political parties while the party is actually run by the back room boys...this method of politics is what has been ruining PEI for a number of years now. We need to be electing hard working, everyday, ordinary people of PEI, who live here and know everything that is going on. MacLean doesn't live here, he spends most of his time elsewhere, therefore he should not even be allowed to run for politics here on PEI. I would rather see my neighbor or a farmer or fisherman running for politics instead of the steady band of bums we continue to see. Any idiot with any ties to PEI at all seems to be able to do what they like on PEI....while the actual citizens of this provinces can't do anything except pay more taxes for the rich and the smug politicians we currently have.

    • anne the artist
      February 18, 2013 - 10:54

      I agree and don't agree with your comment. In one way, someone "from away" like MacLean can bring in some valuable leadership qualities and experiences that may work out well and bring together our second political party. However I also agree with you that everyday Islanders need to be more involved in politics. When the Liberals were first elected with R Ghiz, I thought we had that with a lot of younger politicians, but looking back now, it has been quite disastrous. So I say that if MacLean wants to give us his experience, let him.

  • Gerry
    February 16, 2013 - 12:14

    How does notoriety or family history (e.g. Ghiz, Trudeau) instantaneously catapult you into becoming an ideal political leader? The last thing Islanders should do, is to mimic the Liberal mindset, as we all know how catastrophic that has proven for the taxpayers. If Mr. MacLean was truly serious about running as a candidate, would he not be out in front and centre now, or is it just more media speculation?

    February 16, 2013 - 10:25

    Who is that is pushing this story about MacLean? He himself has said he is not really interested in being leader.This must be the Liberals (Guardian) that keeps pushing this story. It is a dead issue. The next leader of the Conservatives had better be Derek Key or we will all be in big trouble.What better man to lead this province out of the mess that we are in but Mr Key. He has shown over his career that not only is he a top lawyer but also a humanitarianwho gave off his time to go to Africa and help them there. Does anyone forget all the great work that he did in raising money for the PCH? Without Dereks' help, there is a good possibility this wouldn't have happened.All Islanders of all political stripes should push to have Derek as the next Cons. leader and the next Premier.

  • Tocky
    February 16, 2013 - 10:21


  • johnthames
    February 16, 2013 - 10:10

    We don't need a hockey coach for premier any more than we need the anti-democratic Mr. Ghiz. Seriously Doug, why do you think you could do the job? What in your background makes you think you could be an effective Premier? Is it that you were asked? You will need a better reason than that. This province has many challenges, a good old boy hockey coach who will no doubt surround himself with hockey people is a disaster in waiting. Never trust a man who wants to be a politician... do us and yourself a favour Dough, don't bother!

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 16, 2013 - 09:38

    All anyone has to do to win the next election (my dog could get elected and probably do a better job than MacLean or Ghiz) is to repeal the HST or reverse some of the other bad legislation that these past 4 or 5 governments have passed. We must go back in time to when politicians were responsible to their voters. The entire electoral system needs to be changed, otherwise we just get the same crap (covered with different toilet paper) over and over again. CRAZY is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. WE MUST ALL BE CRAZY or just plain stupid. We need someone with no political or big business ties. We will never get what we need by allowing the status quo to continue.

    February 16, 2013 - 09:17

    WOW! Let's speed up the spiral right down the drain!!

  • SG
    February 16, 2013 - 09:00

    What Next? What would a Former NHL Coach and Sportscaster know about Governing a Province? I'm glad to hear it's not a Priority Consideration for him at this time! Has any Political Party ever considered endorsing a person who actually has experience pertaining to Provincial Leadership and Politics? Why is Politics the only Profession where Experience, Qualifications or a Reference are not expected or needed?!! Next? Maybe the PC Party should consider a new Party President and have another Election for all Party positions.

  • Summerside Resident
    February 16, 2013 - 08:15

    Haahahahahahahahah -He wouldn't even win a seat in Summerside where he is from. Only PEI Tories would be excited to have Doug MacLean.

  • Checker
    February 16, 2013 - 08:07

    If this is an example of the new executives move forward....we are dead in the water. Jordan Fraser is packing it in...bad sign. The new crew will eat themselves in no time because there are so few of them. Watch for Olive to come from the rear with a new group and a split party. The Liberals are safe for years and Redmond doesn't even have enough sense to sit in the assembly if elected. God help us all! Is there anyone out there who will help the poor people of this Island?

  • Brian Burke
    February 16, 2013 - 07:56

    He has been good to Summerside but that may be his fault as well. He has a tendency to put all of his eggs in one basket and does not see the broad picture and that is why he is no longer a GM in the NHL. Ghiz has to go because of obvious reasons but McLean is not the man to replace him.

  • voter
    February 16, 2013 - 07:48

    reminds me of mike duffy !!! maybe mike duffy will be available then !! two losers !!!

  • It's for Sure
    February 16, 2013 - 07:31

    Yes , it's for sure Ghiz can be beaten but it won't be the PC's that does it . They are gone for at least two elections , or until the people of PEI forget about their going's on for the last two years . Besides that Ghiz probly won't be leading then as he will accept a plum appointment so the Liberals can tell us stupid islanders they are changed & now care about the people . LOL And YES , we will swallow the BS & vote them back in . The Island way .

  • RickyTick
    February 16, 2013 - 07:09

    Mr. MacLean is exhibiting signs of a self-persecution complex!

  • grampie
    February 16, 2013 - 07:03

    I believe Doug is too smart to get involved in those backroom guys who seem content on ruining the PC party. Plus he is main reason I watch Sportsnet and I would miss his hockey insights.Being a non-resident of PEI(except for his summer cottage) should make him ineligible anyway.

  • AD
    February 16, 2013 - 06:35

    May be time to move 'West' with everyone else. Apparently we're looking at another 4 years with the Liberals thanks to the continued joke of a PC party. Wow, it's like looking at the Federal Liberal party, only worse! Could we pick an Islander and not just someone incidentally born here please!?

    February 16, 2013 - 04:42


    • Buddies Uncle
      February 16, 2013 - 13:15


  • Nor'easter
    February 16, 2013 - 02:21

    Well there is someone that has nothing to do. lots of ridicule and no thanks with poor pay for the pain and suffering you have to go through. Just ask Olive and I'm sure she is relieved to be out of the position saved for the "Townies."Not sure where Myers fits in but I'm sure the back room boys will take care of him too.

  • justanotherislander
    February 16, 2013 - 00:48

    OMG!!!!!.......seriously??? If the Conservatives truly need another non-resident, why not just pick Mike Duffy. Can anyone not see that being 'Island born and bred', does NOT necessarily mean you are a resident of PEI. Do they really think we want a Premier who does not live in PEI. Gawd....are we that desperate!

    • Henry Sow
      February 16, 2013 - 05:46

      You should learn to spell "God" instead of "Gawd" unless the latter is a word you found somewhere. If thats the best you can do, you should stay out of this forum.

    • Charles Foster
      February 16, 2013 - 12:40

      @ Henry Sow. Perhaps JustanotherIslander is trying to be somewhat sensitive to those whose religious sensibilities consider such a comment to be inappropriate.

  • Piet Hein
    February 15, 2013 - 23:37

    It must be bred into every Tory that they must shoot themselves in the foot and then do something stupid like ask Doug MacLean to run for the party leadership. Sure, he is an islander and has family here and also business dealings, but that does not make him a political leader. When was the last time he lived full time on the island? Does he know the issues facing the province after all this time away? He says himself it is not high on his agenda and hopefully it will stay that way. The Island needs a real Conservative leader that will be a credible opponent to Robert Ghiz. Doug MacLean would just be a side show and almost guarantee a Tory loss in the election. Ghiz can be beaten, (and needs to be) but Doug McLean is not the one to do it.