Many people know Pierre McGuire as the little bald guy with glasses on NBC who sits between the benches during hockey games. He’s a man that you either love or hate. But has anyone ever considered the possibility of him being a legitimate candidate to fill a front office position with an NHL team? He interviewed for the General Manager position with the Montreal Canadians (TSN) and Tampa Bay Lightning (Tampa Bay Times) a few years ago. He also most recently interviewed for the GM job with the Pittsburgh Penguins (ESPN). So what’s his resume?
McGuire has experience in the NHL on the front lines. McGuire was an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins during their Stanley Cup championship winning years and the Hartford Whalers in the mid 90s. He was also the head coach of the Hartford Whalers for one season. He was also an assistant coach and scout for the Ottawa Senators. But McGuire’s only experience in the front office is that he was the Whalers’ Assistant GM for one season (NBC Sports).
Despite this lack of experience McGuire has in the front office, he has several qualities that make him a good candidate for a general manager’s position on a team. First of all, McGuire has quite possibly the most hockey knowledge of anyone in the business. I’ve seen him throw out some stats and background about players on TV that just blows my mind. It makes you wonder how a man could know some of these things.
Pierre’s knowledge could be a valuable asset to a team’s front office. He knows about almost every player in the NHL and knows about their strengths and weaknesses. On top of that he knows about all team’s strategies and how they play on a game to game basis. This could come in handy in a variety of ways. The first way this could help is in actual competition. Pierre’s knowledge of the player and team strengths and weaknesses can help his team by relaying this information to a coach. The coach can then use this information to attack said team’s weak spots and certain player weaknesses.
This would also be a key asset in constructing a roster. Pierre’s knowledge of players’ strengths would allow him to match similar strengths on a team and players that complement each others strengths. This would allow for better team chemistry and give his team and players a better chance of succeeding on the ice.
Another positive McGuire would bring to a front office is his scouting ability. Much like he knows about almost every player in the NHL, he takes a similar approach to NHL draft prospects and continues paying attention to these players until they hit the NHL (NBC Sports). This coupled with his experience as a scout would make him an ideal GM when it comes to the scouting and development department.
There are downsides, however, to Pierre’s bid to become a GM. He has never held any type of position like this so would he be qualified for the position? He also has never had to deal with a salary cap or negotiate contracts/trades. He may think he knows what a player is worth because of his constant research and knowledge but that does not mean that agents and teams will value their players the same way. How will he deal with situations like that? And how would he fare in hiring staff? Would he know what to look for in a coach? These are just a few things that could scare a team away from hiring McGuire as their GM.
Overall, McGuire could be a very good GM if he is put in the right environment. If he is surrounded by assistants who are well versed in the salary cap, hiring staff and the other aspects of the job Pierre isn’t used to doing, he should thrive. He needs a team looking for a GM that is an expert in scouting, development and roster construction to give him a call. Those are his assets and when he can focus on them, he can thrive in the NHL. And although he was passed over by the Penguins, Canadians and Lightning, he should eventually get that chance to succeed in an NHL front office sooner rather than later.