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Pierre McGuire is moving from in between the benches to the front office.
The Ottawa Senators announced Monday morning that they have hired McGuire as their senior vice president of player development, a title that appears to be abnormally long.
"On behalf of the entire Senators organization, I would like to welcome Pierre McGuire back to Ottawa," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a "We are excited to add Pierre to our hockey management group. His experience will be instrumental as we continue to build an elite team. Pierre's knowledge of the game and its players is highly regarded and I am confident that he will positively assist our team as it progresses to the next level."
The 59-year-old served as a scout for Ottawa for just over a season between 1995-96. Prior to that, McGuire cut his teeth in the NHL as a special assignment scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins before being promoted to assistant coach in 1991. He then joined the Hartford Whalers in 1992, taking on several roles over a two-year span with the organization. McGuire started as an assistant coach, was named assistant GM one year later, only to take over behind the bench a few months after that, becoming the youngest head coach in the NHL at age 32. It didn't end well. McGuire was fired six months later, with captain Pat Verbeek calling it the best thing that could have happened to the team.
Since then he’s been in the hockey media stratosphere, starting in radio and working his way up to become TSN's lead hockey analyst before eventually joining the NBC Sports hockey broadcasting team in 2006.
With the television rights heading to ESPN and TNT next season, McGuire has landed on his feet fairly quickly in a pretty good situation. Current Senators GM Pierre Dorion has just one year remaining on his contract, and considering McGuire once interviewed for the GM role back in 2011, there are tangible reasons to believe he could work his way up within the organization.
“I’m super-pumped. We’re going to have some fun,” McGuire said in an interview with Bruce Garroich of the Ottawa Sun. “I see my role as being there to help (general manager Pierre Dorion), helping the hockey operations department, player development and being somebody who can help the organization. It’s important to have lots of information when you make decisions and I’d like to think I’d be very good at gathering information."
Known for possessing the knowledge of every NHL player's minor hockey journey, the infamously aggravating commentator certainly has a lot of information in that noggin of his.
While this role is usually destined for recently retired players or young staff members surging their way up the management ladder, McGuire will most likely have a more significant role than the usual heads of development.
“Before I even got to Ottawa, and I’ve had a chance to go over it with (Dorion), but the plan is really solid and concrete,” McGuire told. “I respect the vision that they have. There are organizational needs that they have, and there are few perfect teams in the league. One thing you try to do, and I believe (Dorion) has been doing this, is you try to get players that your coach is comfortable with and players that will help the coach win...That’s the process everyone is going through right now.”
If nothing else, this move provides some added entertainment value ahead of what should be a busy and intriguing NHL offseason.
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