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Will this man be making moves for the Penguins next season?
Will this man be making moves for the Penguins next season?

What if I were to tell you that the next potential Penguins’ GM has seen virtually every player in the NHL, up close and personal, for the past three years?

What if I also told you that same candidate was one of the most connected individuals in hockey, with nearly every major agent and General Manager in his iPhone’s contact list?

Most likely you would say that this unnamed candidate sounds perfect.

But if named this candidate and gave him the name of Pierre McGuire, your face would probably look like you ate a combination of a lemon and spoiled milk.  McGuire is not well liked around these here parts, mostly because of perceived negative feelings towards the Penguins by McGuire when he’s commentating for NBC.  Every fan thinks the media is against their team if they say one little comment that could be spun in a negative manner.  The truth is that McGuire is probably too much PRO-Pens, especially towards Crosby and “Kristopher” Letang.

The issue at hand is the notion that people can’t separate the idea that “Pierre McGuire” the TV personality may be different than Pierre McGuire, the guy completely immersed in hockey knowledge.  Sometimes a person has to accentuate all aspects of their true personality when in the media.  McGuire is abrasive and just plain odd at times during interviews, but he knows his stuff and can network like nobody’s business.

Another issue to consider is one of control.  The word on the street is that Ray Shero had consolidated too much decision-making power in his hands.  He was pretty much in his own echo chamber on key personnel decisions.  Mario Lemieux has said he wants to “roll up his sleeves” and get more involved in the process, in the words of ex-teammate and friend Rick Tocchet.  This could also mean that Lemieux is looking for a candidate who will be more…receptive, shall we say, to input from the owners.  A more direct way of saying it would be “puppet”.

Back in 1991 and 1992, Pierre McGuire was an assistant coach on the two Stanley Cup-winning Penguin teams.  I don’t need to remind you who the star and captain was on those teams.  Having a friend in the GM seat is a positive in some respects, but it could be disastrous in others, especially if McGuire’s input is muted.

Hiring an out-of-the-box candidate such as McGuire could be just what this franchise needs to jump start the lull that they are in.  Hiring a candidate out of left field, over a passel of qualified assistant GM’s from around the league, only to have him rubber stamp the ideas of Mario Lemieux, could set the franchise back and waste the prime years of Crosby and Malkin.

Pierre McGuire strikes me as a person who would be quite active as a GM, so I would expect many personnel moves if he were hired.  There’s also a very good chance that I’ve just spent 500+ words debating the merits of a guy who will never be hired by the Penguins.

All I know is, if McGuire is hired, this guy’s season tickets may be in jeopardy.

 

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