Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Pierre McGuire
from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
Indeed, to spend a day with McGuire is to get swept into his world of unbridled enthusiasm for the sport. Old stories are told with widened eyes and preceded by a tap on the knee, as though signaling that it’s time to listen up. On the production truck, his NBC Sports colleagues will often hear his voice piped through the speakers, offering rah-rah words of encouragement in the middle of broadcasts. Get after it! That was a great package! That’s why NBC is the best! Even his steady drumbeat of players' hometowns and junior teams serves a purpose in McGuire’s mind. “I think it’s the journey, the journey for all these guys,” he says. “That’s what matters to me the most.”...
A Sports Emmy winner who at last check has worked 21 postseason games in 22 days, pausing only because no NHL teams played on April 26, McGuire, 54, is a former college and NHL coach, scout and assistant GM (and, in the interest of full disclosure, occasional contributor to Sports Illustrated magazine). He wears his love of hockey on his sleeve, his wedding band on one hand and, on the other, one of the two Stanley Cup rings he won as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and '92.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks is starting in 30 minutes and Pierre McGuire is headed to work.
First he stops to talk to Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta, who is riding a stationary bike. Then McGuire makes small talk with a referee and linesman. Finally he walks across ice and climbs over the boards and settles into his office — the space between the teams’ benches.
Just like Wayne Gretzky had his office behind the net, Phil Esposito had the slot and Ron Hextall had the crease, McGuire has the space that he has used to help change the game.
"It’s like he invented his job,” says NBC play-by-play broadcaster Kenny Albert.
USA TODAY Sports spent a portion of Wednesday’s NBC “Rivalry Night” game at United Center inside the glass with McGuire and witnessed the celebrity that the former coach has become — with fans waiting to take selfies — from one of the most unique positions in sports.
Pierre McGuire was on NHL Live today and discussed some of the current news around the NHL.
Topics like the latest injuries, the LA Kings, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals and a few more NHL related items.
The segment is almost eight minutes long and you can watch it below...
from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Set aside whatever you think about how he comes across as an NBC commentator — yes, “Brooks Or-PECK,” too — and isolate on his NHL resume: He began as a scout with the Penguins in 1990. A year later, he was an assistant coach and remained so for the Stanley Cups in 1991-92. The next year, he took the same job in Hartford. A year after that, he was assistant GM, then a month later head coach. It was a rapid ascent, but he flamed out just as quickly after going 23-37-7. Pat Verbeek, a winger on that team, famously called his coach's firing “the best thing that could ever have happened to the Whalers.” Moving on to Ottawa, McGuire scouted, then was assistant coach in 1995 until being fired within three months....
McGuire had to bottom-feed with the ECHL for his next job, coaching the Baton Rouge Kingfish to seventh place, then tore up the rest of a three-year contract to try broadcasting.
He quit. He quit hockey. He never again coached, scouted or generally managed anything. He called games, learned names, memorized players' hometowns, dressed nice and shook a whole lot of hands.
I'm going to type this yet again: This could be your next GM, Pittsburgh.
Oh, for real. It isn't by accident that his name has gone public with no response from the Penguins, even behind the scenes. Trust me, given the laughingstock they've become over this across the continent, they'd have quashed this in a heartbeat if motivated. Nor is it by accident that McGuire has felt comfortable discussing the job in radio interviews. In one, he felt bold enough to say Shero “probably didn't deserve to get fired.”...
I'll ask again: What's going on here?
more, including additional candidates...
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Pierre has friends and enemies in the game. That is normal when you've been navigating the NHL's shark-infested waters as long as he has. He knows everybody. He's a legendary schmoozer.
Do I think he's the right person to replace Ray Shero as Penguins general manager?
Wow. That is a question I never dreamed we'd be pondering. Pierre is the talk of the town in the wake of his second interview with Penguins brass, including co-owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, this past weekend.
As early as Tuesday, the Penguins could name a GM.
What if it's Pierre?
I am of two minds. One says, “Bad idea, PR nightmare.” The other says, “Why not?”
Perhaps unfairly, I tend to view Pierre the way I viewed Russ Grimm when he was after the Steelers coaching job. Both seem more like the guy who buys you a beer and talks about the organization rather than the guy actually leading it.
Pierre is a media guy. Has been for a long time. He's one of us!
He also has a pleasantly quirky personality that could lead one to believe he is more suited for court jester than king.
from CBS Pittsburgh,
Former Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman joined Bob Pompeani on his Saturday show on The Fan to talk about the Pens’ current situation as they search for a new general manager and possibly a new head coach.
Bowman worked closely with NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre Maguire who has been rumored to be a possible candidate for the open general manager position with the Pens.
He tells Bob that Maguire has been a candidate recently for many open positions and that he has a real desire to return to a team.
“He has a good broad knowledge of amateur hockey,” Bowman said. “But the big thing he has going for him for me is that he has a lot of connections. He has kept up with the hockey league. He is a hard worker. His knowledge of the NHL would be very high for sure.”
Bowman also told Bob that he thinks injuries played a huge role in the Pens early exit from the playoffs this year and he doesn’t think the window for this team to win another Stanley Cup has closed.
Oh, P.K. Subban, never change:
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
We're not sure yet of the extent of Jonathan Toews' injury, but we do know that Matt Duchene is out for four weeks with a knee injury. The Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche will likely play against each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Can Colorado beat Chicago in a seven-game series without Duchene, even if Toews is out and Patrick Kane is just coming back from his injury?
"It'd be a reach. It'd be a big reach. Matt Duchene is one of the more dominant, young offensive players in the League. What he's done this year has been remarkable. What the entire group in Colorado has done this year has been amazing. From Joe Sakic to Patrick Roy to Semyon Varlamov, they just deserve so much credit. Erik Johnson is one of the most improved players in the League. They have the no-name defense that plays with so much character and grit. I've got a lot of respect for what they've done there, but I think it would be a reach for them to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions without Matt Duchene."
There are a number of opinions as to why the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a freefall with eight straight regulation losses. What is your opinion on the collapsing Leafs?
"I think they have to have a long internal look at just how good their team is or isn't. There are some clear deficiencies on the back end. There is a lack of depth down the middle. Obviously the injury to David Bolland set them back and he's not 100 percent, but they've got some issues down the middle and on defense. And when you have those issues, that's a hard way to win in this League. If you look at the best teams in this League, they are very deep down the middle and very good on defense."
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…