The Pittsburgh Penguins need a new General Manager. Pierre McGuire has spent so much time between NHL benches in the last 5-10 years that teams are finally getting the idea that he might know who to put on a bench for a game. That would explain why Penguin executives have held a second interview with the NBC and TSN broadcaster. That and McGuire’s own history with the Penguins.
Pierre McGuire was an assistant coach for Scotty Bowman on the 1992 Penguins team that won its second straight Stanley Cup. He was also a head coach of the now-defunct Hartford Whalers for one season. That team went 23-37-7 in a fantastically Hartford-ian season before Pierre was whisked away. That’s been the sum of his experience thus far — well, that and lots of analysis work for TSN and NBC — but it’s enough for the Penguins to be interested.
One has to wonder as to the true motives behind such a hiring. McGuire has certainly been a big part of the game for a while, but more as a media member than anything else. None of that allows for some hidden expertise, at least from where we’re sitting. If McGuire was truly driven to pursue these avenues, why didn’t he do so some time between the mid 90s and now? We know he’s had a few interviews in the past, but it still seems strange that no one’s taken a chance on McGuire until right now, when the Penguins appear on the verge of hiring him.
Of course, all of this could be a smoke screen for a bigger move. The Penguins could be hoping to pursue someone else, but they want to bide their time and let Pierre tell all his friends at NBC about the great day he had in Pittsburgh. I can just imagine him detailing his time. “Guys, I went to Pittsburgh today and it was all first class. Mario Lemieux played junior hockey up in the Q and he really honed his hockey sense, which is why they called me from the benches to come upstairs and talk.”
Or, as my brother (a Penguins fan) noted in an email, “He’s going to trade EVERYONE for Claude Giroux if his commentary is any indication.” Whatever happens, things will certainly be interesting in Pittsburgh once they can find a new GM to get the team back on top.