Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Pierre McGuire
from Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing,
A time warp has apparently transported the world back to 2008. At least, that's the most logical explanation for NBC Sports' executive producer Sam Flood's comments to SI's Richard Deitsch about critics of Pierre McGuire before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which sound like they could have come from Buzz Bissinger circa that earlier era:
"I consider Pierre to be the gold standard, The position of being inside the glass was created because of Pierre. His skill set is uniquely suited to telling stories on air. His knowledge of the game and background of every player on the ice is incredible. He is a huge asset. He won an Emmy Award this year for obvious reasons. The sad thing about how society is today is there are a small group of people who shout loud and hide behind blogger names and fraudulent titles and attack people. They attack Cris Collinsworth. They attack Al Michaels. They attack Pierre McGuire. They attack Mike Milbury. They attack Keith Jones. They are a bunch of chickens who hide behind their Twitter names and attack people. Shame on them. If you want to say something, say it with your name behind it. But if you want to hide behind funny little names on the Internet, be my guest. But shame on you."
It's no secret that NBC hockey analyst McGuire has been the target of plenty of criticism from hockey fans over the years. However, writing that criticism off as a product of just those who "shout loud and hide behind blogger names" is insanity in 2013. Some of the most prominent criticism of McGuire has come from the hockey players he interviews, including Henrik Zetterberg rejecting his interview request, Marty Turco's 2011 mockery of him and Mike Commodore tweeting that McGuire "ruins hockey" for him. Even in the media realm, it's far from just anonymous bloggers who bash McGuire. In fact, much of the best criticism of McGuire has come from those willing to use their names. Here's a short selection:
My name is George Malik, and I think that Pierre McGuire is indeed terrible...In no small part because he could be an absolutely fantastic broadcaster if...
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Anyway, the Montreal station today had an interesting guest appearance from hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. Yeah, Pierre is a little excitable at times, but he is a tremendous guy and knows more about hockey in his left index finger than I do in my entire brain.
So my ears always pipe up when he’s asked about what’s going on in the game. When he came on today, I hit the “record” button on the TuneInRadio app (yes, that’s a cool feature about it) and will transcribe some of it for you good citizens here.
First, his opinion on how things stand in the lockout:
The questioner, Mitch Melnick, asked if the current proposal by the NHL is a framework to get something done within the next 7-10 days:
“I do believe that, and I’ll tell you why: Usually when Gary Bettman says this is our last, best offer, he says that publicly. He did that the last time. Unless something’s changed in the last four hours, you’ve never heard him say this is a last, best offer. Once he says that, he’s not messing around. But right now, he’s opened up the ability for both sides to negotiate off this original document. I truly believe that you can get something done off this document. Talking to players last night, talking to management people this morning, I truly believe they can get something done off this document.”
from Justin Terranova of the NY Post,
The idea to put an analyst between the benches, providing a close view of the action and an opportunity to interview coaches during the game, was first hatched eight years ago by NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood. Flood approached McGuire, then with Canada’s TSN, before Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup before the Lightning and Flames.
“I didn’t think it would be allowed, and he said, ‘just leave it to me,’” McGuire said. “Well, we left it to him and here we are eight years later and it’s become pretty much commonplace for everyone in the league to be doing it, and other sports are basically trying the same formula.”
But some would prefer McGuire was not a part of this formula started in 2006 after the previous season was canceled due to the lockout. There are numerous online forums devoted to his demise. Though the former Whalers head coach ignores the criticism, he said he believes it stems from the deep loyalty fans feel toward their team.
“I respect people’s opinions, just like I’m entitled to my opinion,” McGuire said “We’re not homers. We don’t work for one team or the other. We try to play it straight down the middle, so I don’t pay attention to it all. I have a job to do. I do it to the best of my ability. I prepare for every game like it’s a Game 7, and I won’t change. But I respect the passion of hockey fans, their love of the game, but people are expecting me to be a homer and that’s not how it works when you do a national show.”
from Jonathan Willis of The Cult of Hockey,
Other Experience: Prior to jumping into television work, Pierre McGuire was employed in a variety of capacities by NHL teams. He started his career as a college hockey assistant coach in the mid-1980’s before getting a job as a scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins – where he picked up his two Stanley Cup rings. From Pittsburgh, he moved to Hartford, where he was an assistant coach and eventually had a brief stint as a head coach during the 1993-94 season. From Hartford he joined the Ottawa Senators, where he spent two seasons as a pro scout before a single season as the head coach of the ECHL’s Baton Rouge Kingfish….
What has this candidate done that makes him warrant consideration? Few people see as much hockey as Pierre McGuire. He’s steeped in the game, and would bring a strong level of personal knowledge of players to the table. As much as his personality can be a bit much on the television – something that I would argue has opened, rather than closed doors, on the whole – he knows the game well and breaks down plays in a way that many other analysts seem unable to do.
I’m not going to step aside over some supposed professional code. I sincerely believe that Pierre McGuire would do a terrific job as an NHL General Manager. And I think it’s about bloody time somebody in this town talked to him about the GM post of the Montreal Canadiens.
I believe that Pierre is the best hockey analyst in the business. Almost too good, it turns out, to return to work for an NHL franchise. He revolutionized the way the game is now described on television and more importantly, what hockey fans expect out of a telecast. The energy and passion he possesses is obvious. His knowledge of virtually any player anywhere on the planet, let alone an NHL ice surface, reveals his strong roots as a scout. That knowledge has never wavered from the moment I first met him, sitting in the old balcony at the Montreal Forum during a Canadiens playoff match up that I have since forgotten everything about except for the guy I was sitting next to. Regular members of the hockey beat would moan and groan about being dislodged from their regular press box seats at playoff time when numbers of the working media would swell beyond capacity. I eagerly would give up my seat above center ice and actually request a move to the balcony because I knew that’s where a lot of scouts would find their assigned seats. I figured I might learn something. And that’s how I discovered Pierre McGuire.
Melnick is a sports radio host in Montreal for those who may ask.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Somehow it doesn’t seem like a hockey season without Pierre McGuire. McGuire is alive and thriving on NBC and Versus, of course, but the man who made “active sticks” a household phrase is seldom heard in Canada these days on TV. How you feel about that can range from nostalgia to relief, but there’s little doubt McGuire, a former coach in Hartford and Pittsburgh, changed the role of analyst from his perch between the benches.
McGuire tirelessly explored the coaching strategy, relayed by-play between benches from his spot at ice level, and soldiered on against some of the hammerhead tendencies in the game.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadian hockey fans will be seeing a lot less of Pierre McGuire in the future.
The ubiquitous analyst, who has been dividing his time between Canada and the United States since NBC regained the U.S. rights for National Hockey League games in 2006, has decided to concentrate on his duties south of the border.
“It’s a chance to spend more time with my family,” said the 50-year-old McGuire, who has an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old. “I’ll be doing two games a week for Versus or NBC and spend one night in the Versus studio.”
from Rachel Brady of CTV Olympics,
What are the key things you will be watching for at camp?
1. The type of system Mike Babcock wants to put in place for this staff. That’s a major reason why this camp takes place, so the players understand the mindset and the philosophy the coaching staff, because you don’t have a lot of prep time going into the Olympics.
2. How the younger players respond to the pressure of being in a camp like this with more established players. I’ll use Sidney Crosby as an example - he’ll be a focal point player. How does he respond to the challenge? I think he’ll do very well, but it will be so interesting to see him in that environment.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
If Leipold wants excitement, he’ll get it from the “Monster Man.” Think Don Cherry without the Chinese-tablecloth jacket and the Afghan mission. “Bam!”
But the former Hartford Whalers head coach is not just another Cherry. McGuire loudly stumped for no red line and is not a member of Hockey Night in Canada’s Granite Club when it comes to skill players and fighting. He favours visors. He’s not above eviscerating a Sean Avery, but prefers the positive approach — something he plans to take into any GM’s job.
Says McGuire, who won the 1992 Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins: “With the access I’ve had in the past 12 years to successful and unsuccessful teams, you can compile unbelievable reserves of information. I’m a better hockey person as a result. You saw that with John Davidson in St. Louis.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Minnesota Wild might view Pierre McGuire as the next John Davidson.
That would be good for McGuire.
Or, the Wild might see less Davidson, and more Barry Melrose.
Not so good.
What we know for sure is that McGuire, as well-known a hockey broadcaster as there is in this country outside of Don Cherry, is on the short list to become the next general manager of the Wild, succeeding the departed Doug Risebrough.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Pierre McGuire is making some real nice coin as the color analyst with TSN and NBC, not to mention a freelance gig with Sports Illustrated. But he would also give his left you know what to get back in a management position in the NHL.
And, if I were Pierre Lacroix, I would give McGuire a good, hard look for the Avs GM job. After all - can you name me anyone who has seen more NHL games in the last few years than McGuire has most likely? Can you name me a person who has has a more varied menu of personnel he’s spoken to in the last few years - among players and coaches and everybody else in hockey? It’s part of his job description to talk to everybody in the game, and I think it would be smart for any team to consider him.
from Neil Best of Newsday,
...Beyond that, he is a bundle of energy and a born schmoozer.
The former is important for a guy who is away from his Montreal home 240 nights a year for various gigs, including ones with TSN in Canada and NBC here.
The latter was evident whether he was strolling out for the second period with John Tortorella, bumping forearms with the Bruins’ Mark Recchi before the third, or chatting up members of the support staff, some in position to make his job easier or more difficult in the Garden’s cramped quarters.
“He’s the Mayor,” Flood said of McGuire’s natural political skills.
via Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out,
Pierre McGuire, on Mitch Melnick’s show this afternoon, says if the Canadiens have not signed Mats Sundin by July 1, he’s going to the Rangers.
The Montreal offer is attractive, McGuire says: two seasons, $7 million per. The fact Sundin has not jumped on it is significant.
From Jason Kay at The Hockey News,
Besides, the NBC telecasts are excellent. I love the element Pierre McGuire provides between the benches, delivering heat-of-the moment interviews and the occasional report on trash talk.
When Tomas Holmstrom was injured late in Game 3 after being dumped by Hal Gill, McGuire told us one of the Penguins skated by the bench (Tyler Kennedy if memory serves correctly) and said in a disbelieving tone to the combative Swede, “That hurt you?”
That was followed by another Penguin telling Wings forward Kirk Maltby it was time he retired.
It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it’s the kind of inside-the-game feel you don’t get anywhere else.
From Stu Hackel at Slap Shot in the NYT:
So we spoke to Pierre McGuire earlier today and asked him what changes he thinks Therrien should make tonight. He phoned The Morning Skate from The Morning Skate at Mellon, or as we like to affectionately continue to call it, the Igloo. Pierre, or as we like to affectionately continue to call him, Pete, will be between the benches again tonight for NBC, doing his usual superlative job of spying on each team’s bench and deciphering what is happening on the ice both before and after the whistles.
“You’ve got to change the schematic of the series real quick,” he said. “Not a lot of adjustments, but simple adjustments.
“You’re not going to be able to carry [the puck into the Wings defensive zone], so you have to have a lot of short side shoot-ins where Osgood can’t get to the puck, And you know the boards here, you’re comfortable playing in this building, because you know the boards. So short side shoot-ins and overload one side and go on attack — not with three guys but two. The third guy stays high all the time, because you can’t give up odd-man rushes. Detroit’s too good.”
Earlier today, Don Cherry of CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada”, Mike Emrick from VERSUS and NBC, Pierre McGuire from TSN and NBC and Mike Milbury from NBC and TSN were on a tele-conference discussing the 2008 NHL Playoffs.
You can download the audio [mp3 link] if you like, or listen on the player below. (Be aware that it may take a few minutes to load.)
Update 4:41pm ET: Complete written transcript now available below.
NBC and TSN analyst Pierre McGuire will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
Earlier today, Pierre McGuire of NBC and TSN was good enough to share his hockey observations with Paul and myself. We asked him about the upcoming Philadelphia/Pittsburgh game this Sunday at noon EDT on NBC, got some gossip about what goes on “Between the Glass”, and insights into both the Western and Eastern conferences going into the playoffs.
You can download the interview by this mp3 file here, or listen on the player below.
*Our sincere thanks to Pierre McGuire for taking this time with us, and to NBC for arranging the interview.
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
McGuire said that being trained by Bob Johnson and Scotty Bowman, who coached the Penguins to Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992, were crucial to his education as an analyst.
“They taught me to recognize changes in a game,” McGuire said, “and to see all the idiosyncrasies of a game: the neutral-zone defenses, face-offs, the control and flow of the game. Bob taught me how important it was to be positive and to delegate authority; from Scotty, I got discipline, hard work, attention to detail and how to match lines.”
During games, he is likely to receive e-mail messages from Bowman, a Hall of Fame coach. On Sunday, Bowman wrote, according to McGuire, “Milbury’s got some strong opinions.”
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
TSN will use a new play-by-play configuration for tonight’s Montreal Canadiens-Buffalo Sabres telecast. Chris Cuthbert and Glenn Healy will call the game at ice level, which they’ve done before, but this time Pierre McGuire will provide additional analysis from the broadcast booth as an “eye in the sky.”
TSN’s Mike Milbury called the appointment of Brett Hull, who has no managerial experience, to the position of interim co-general manager of the Dallas Stars “an insult” to all NHL general managers.
more hockey notes…