Pierre McGuire knows hockey. This is indisputable. In fact, one might say he knows way more about hockey than the human brain’s storage capacity can realistically handle, and thus must release this knowledge in short bursts during games, like steam billowing from a pipe.
To that end, the former NHL head coach (remember the Whale!) and scout has been mentioned as a potential general manager for a number of teams through the years. He reportedly interviewed with the Montreal Canadiens two years ago. We lobbied hard for him to become the next Ottawa Senators GM when Bryan Murray didn’t look long for the job, both because he would have been the perfect Battle of Ontario foil for Brian Burke and because the volume control on our remotes could use a rest.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have a GM opening. TSN insider Darren Dreger was on 93.7 FM The Fan in Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning ticking down the usual candidates – your Julien BriseBois, your Paul Fenton, your Jason Botterill – when he was asked about Pierre McGuire. And Dreger didn’t dismiss it:
“One thing that has changed over the past couple of years or so is the fact that the interest in Pierre is maybe less public now than what it used to be,” Dreger said. “As soon as he was contacted or his name would surface, we’d be talking about it. Just because his name hasn’t surfaced in the last year-or-so doesn’t mean that there aren’t teams interested in Pierre McGuire, and I’d be real surprised if there wasn’t some connection here in Pittsburgh.”
Dreger said that McGuire’s knowledge could make him a big asset.
“I have great respect for Pierre’s hockey knowledge,” Dreger said. “He’s got the credentials as a coach, and nobody- and I say this with great respect for Pierre- works harder than he does at staying in-tune with what every team is doing from a roster perspective. You can ask this guy about just about any player in the system of any organization. He’ll know who that player is, and he’ll have an opinion on strengths and weaknesses.”
Say what you will about Pierre – and many of you are probably saying he’s been lobbying for this job with his, ahem, complimentary analysis of Sidney Crosby over the years – but he’s an experienced, hard-working guy who lives and breathes the game. There’s no way he’d treat the gig as anything but an all-consuming lifestyle choice. He'd probably kill at it.
But seriously … wouldn’t you want to see a know-it-all put to the test? To see if all of these insights and trivia amount to being a successful front office man?
Heck, we’re for it if only for the press conferences. What’s the opposite of a John Tortorella answer? Pierre McGuire. That’s what.
It’s probably not going to happen for Pierre in Pittsburgh, but it could happen one day if a team thinks that far outside the box. And what a glorious day that will be.