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Criticizing 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:

George MalikKukla's Korner:

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...


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre+mcguire



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.

Yeah, but come on…Zetterberg?  Turco?  Thos are made up names, and Commodore is clearly some anonymous video game fan…

Posted by Garth on 06/13/13 at 11:26 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

If the inventor of the Mute button gets royalties, he can attribute his riches to Pierre McGuire.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/13/13 at 11:29 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

I wish there was a way to just mute Pierre without losing the play-by-play. If NBC think the broadcasters they’ve chosen help the ratings, they’re just flat out wrong. The ratings have been good in spite of them because there is no other option.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 06/13/13 at 11:51 AM ET

TKShreve's avatar

The position of being inside the glass was created because of Pierre.

Wow. Bold. And Wrong.

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 06/13/13 at 11:58 AM ET


Whenever they go to Pierre behind the glass I hit the mute button.  Been doing that since I first heard him several years ago.

Posted by bobinchico from Chico, CA on 06/13/13 at 12:03 PM ET


I’m no fan of Pierre, but I mute Collinsworth and Gruden every time I hear them.

Posted by SlimChance on 06/13/13 at 12:30 PM ET


I wish there was a way to just mute Pierre without losing the play-by-play.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 06/13/13 at 11:51 AM ET

When the games are on NBC, I’ve found it most enjoyable to use the audio from the Starcam feed with the video from the main feed. The starcam doesn’t have any announcers but does pick up all the background sounds from the various mics around the rink. You lose the play-by-play, but that makes it feel more like you’re actually at the game. It does require having two windows of the game open (and perfectly synced) if you’re watching on your computer. I’ve also used my computer for audio while watching the game on TV (also required syncing, as the TV feed was ~1 minute ahead).

Posted by apid on 06/13/13 at 12:38 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I get a kick out of the Sports Emmy crutch. 

The event is politically charged these days and is essentially driven by the ideals of a few white haired dudes that work for companies not associated with ESPN. 

Any rationale thinking hockey fan that watches more than a few games a year will tell you that McGuire lacks the kind of appeal that made folks like Madden endearing to the marginalized NFL fan back in the early 80s. 

The NBC/Comcast brass that drives a good portion of this league continues to feel otherwise and my guess is that Pierre is the gatekeeper to some more politics that keeps him employed with such a visible position associated with the NHL.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/13/13 at 12:52 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The problem with using the NBC video and another audio feed is that NBC still has your eyeballs for ads, so what do they care where you get your audio?

Posted by Primis on 06/13/13 at 01:11 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

NBC still has your eyeballs for ads

Depending, sometimes there is still CBC and FSD available. Also, I normally use the DVR pause button during ad time then FFWD to when play is resumed. Ad time is also great for bio breaks and soda re-fills.  wink

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 06/13/13 at 01:18 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Poor Pierre…

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/13/13 at 01:29 PM ET


A big gripe I have is when the announcers are babbling about things other than the action and all of a sudden a goal is scored.  IMHO there is too much extraneous talk.  For me the best announcing is when they are just describing the action.  Maybe one reason I like listening to Bob Cole, although I rarely get to hear him.

Posted by bobinchico from Chico, CA on 06/13/13 at 01:35 PM ET


I get a kick out of the douche at NBC complaining about people hiding behind their screen names while he hides behind his desk.  Seriously, just because that guy uses his real name in his stupidity, does that mean he’s open to be engaged on the issue? 

Of course not.

If you send an email to that guy or reply to his stupid article, is he going to read or react to that?  Nah.  No chance.  All he’s doing is lobbing out a pretty stupid defense of a guy he employs but that most other people don’t like.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/13/13 at 02:48 PM ET


That Mike Commodore thinks someone sucks should be held up as a badge of honor by the guy. It’s widely known that Commodore doesn’t get anything right and never has.

Anyways, while McGuire’s definitely annoying, many of the other guys who’ve do the job are just as annoying and far more stupid. Comparing McGuire’s work to Healy’s inside the glass is like comparing Bobby Orr’s to Brett Lebda’s on the ice.

Posted by larry on 06/13/13 at 02:52 PM ET


^ Which isn’t to say McGuire’s the Bobby Orr of inside the glass, just that Healy’s so bad the comparison takes shape.

Posted by larry on 06/13/13 at 02:53 PM ET

pautna's avatar

If he needs to be defended in the first place, then something is wrong. He’s an annoying hack and it’s evident to most. Regarding Sam, I’ll quote Shakespeare with “The lady doth protest too much…”

Posted by pautna on 06/13/13 at 02:54 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Funny, because about 3 weeks ago I sent an email to Mr. Sam Flood regarding Eddie O. and Pierre.  I had no shame in providing my name and email address either.  Haven’t received a response for some reason….

Good on Malik for being quoted in this blog’s post!  Made my day.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/13/13 at 03:07 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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