By now you’ve heard the “Pierre McGuire will be the new Penguins general manager” rumor. We have no idea if this is true. NHL.com has a story on it though.
Obviously Pierre McGuire isn’t really anyone’s first choice for the job (except for maybe the Penguins.) He might be absolutely terrible at the job. In fact, he probably will be. After all, he’s never been an NHL general manager. The closest he’s been is that he was the Hartford Whalers’ assistant general manager in 1993. That was 21 years ago. In addition, he hasn’t worked for an NHL team since he was fired as the Ottawa Senators’ assistant coach in 1996.
That’s not a great track record.
However, there would be a couple of benefits to Pierre McGuire becoming the general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. And, yes, we’re reaching here.
1) He wouldn’t be on TV nearly as much.
Pierre McGuire is annoying. Basically every fanbase thinks he’s biased against their team. He makes people mute their TVs. He insists on calling Kris Letang “Kristopher Letang.” He’s done this:
If he became general manager of the Penguins, he’d give up his job at NBC. Sure, it would be embarrassing to have him as the Pens GM, but maybe the Penguins would take one for the rest of the league and get Pierre out from between the benches and off of television on a regular basis.
2) He knows where everyone played hockey when they were children
Pierre McGuire loves to tell the audience about how Jimmy Moosejaw once scored 32 goals for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. He’s basically dedicated his life to knowing exactly where every player grew up, where they played, who they played with and what their full name is.
That has to be worth something, right?
3) He’s not currently in the Penguins organization
The Pittsburgh Penguins need someone new. They need a new perspective and some new opinions. Pierre McGuire is new. (Ignore his brief time with the Penguins in the early 90s. That was forever ago.)
4) He’s not into “Old School Hockey”
This might be the best reason of all. Pierre McGuire isn’t an “original six, old school hockey” kind of guy. Despite being a broadcaster, he’s not Mike Milbury or Glenn Healy or Don Cherry. That’s good. The NHL has moved beyond all of those old ideas and old tactics.
“What happened on Friday wasn’t about fighting. This was premeditated predatory behavior. That’s why the league ruled as harshly and as quickly as they did. They did the right thing. Case in point, Trevor Gillies, who was in that game, had six shifts for an average of 16 seconds per shift. That speaks to the premeditation. This is not about fighting in that situation. This is about an organization, the New York Islanders, that wanted to get their pound of flesh from the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’ll tell you one thing, the guy who was very lucky: Matt Martin. If Matt Martin hits Maxime Talbot in the neutral zone, that’s his Todd Bertuzzi moment. We do not want to go down that road again.”
Okay, we’re not 100% sure how he feels on most issues, which is obviously part of the problem. We also have no idea if he understands anything about trades, the salary cap or negotiating with players. We don’t know much about him other than what we see on TV… and what we see on TV makes us groan.
What we do know know is that the Penguins have a pretty important offseason coming up and that Pierre McGuire might be the man heading it. So…. yeah.