During his tenure of interviewing for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ GM job — one of the highest profile gigs you can get in the sport — Pierre McGuire never stopped being who he was. Part of that meant being the same intense analyst with a Cliff Claven-esque knowledge of the backstories of National Hockey League players. The other part of that meant doing lots and lots of hits with local radio stations.
Particularly memorable was Wednesday. This was the day that McGuire confirmed that he had been in interviews with the Pens, but wouldn’t say he was a finalist. He said this on at least two radio shows and NBC’s conference call to preview the Stanley Cup Final.
Well, media omnipresence aside, McGuire and the Penguins appeared to be getting close. In fact, there was a report on Friday that the only thing separating the two parties was length of contract. In the end, however, the job ended up going to former Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford.
Pierre continued to discuss the opportunity on Friday after it became clear he was passed over. He told KDKA in Pittsburgh that it was an honor to be a part of the process. He did, however, manipulate his way around answering the contract length question.
However, it was an interview with Mitch Melnick of TSN Radio that gave me pause, with a very specific quote about Pierre’s future:
— Mitch Melnick (@HunterZThompson) June 7, 2014
To me, and to a few others who listened to the interview, sounded like a man giving up on his dream. Regardless, I highly suggest you listen to that Melnick interview, which gives an incredible insight into the process of hiring a GM in the National Hockey League. In the end, he does suggest that now is the time for him to focus on his NBC gig again, comparing himself to what NFL analyst Tony Dungy goes through.
I think it’s the end of the line for me. I think I’m full-time NBC. Looking at some point to put something out, with NBC’s blessing. I’m really, really happy to be with the NBC family and the NHL on NBC. I’ve had my fun, but I think it’s time to focus in on just being TV and not having these courtships once every spring, which seems to happen once every spring.
I must say, separate of your opinion of Pierre McGuire, you can’t say he doesn’t come off as a likable, passionate hockey person in that interview. I will say that, while I wish he’d bring his radio persona more often to television, I have a lot of respect for McGuire out of this process.