Owner of the Minnesota Wild, Craig Leipold had just fired his General Manager, Doug Risebrough, as he sat down to a glass of brandy by a warm fire.He began to think of candidates to replace Risebrough and came up with a simple solution: turn on TSN. Why not? Glen Healy was snatched from TSN by the NHL’s competition committee, Brian Burke was hired as the GM for the Anaheim Ducks during his tenure at TSN, and John Tortorella was recently named head coach of the New York Rangers as an analyst for TSN.
However, Leipold wanted a specific individual. He wanted someone who was perceived with class and elegance, someone who resembled the Monopoly guy. Dan O’Toole and Jay Onrait were too sarcastic. Dave Hodge knows too much. Dave Randorf knows too little. Darren Dreger has too much hair. Darren Pang has too little hair. Bob Mackenzie came close, but he is not fully bald and not nearly loud enough. Just when Leipold threatened to go to Plan B (turn on Sportsnet), a figure appeared who was improportionately loud, bald and wore glasses – Pierre McGuire.
McGuire recently interviewed for the vacant General Manager position for the Minnesota Wild. For the full transcript of this interview, please visit DownGoesBrown.com. Here is an excerpt:
Pierre McGuire: I CAN NOT WAIT TO GET STARTED!
Leipold: Pierre, why are you yelling?
McGuire: I’M NOT! THIS IS MY NORMAL TONE OF VOICE!
Leipold: Could you be a little quieter?
McGuire: NO SIR I CAN NOT!
McGuire does not have the job yet, but with an interview like that, there is no doubt that he made a good impression on Leipold. His consideration for NHL GM is getting a lot of attention around the league, but what is forgotten is who will replace McGuire behind the glass. Of all the website pages dedicated to McGuire, 90% of them focus on their hatred for him. About 1% are about how much TV will miss him, including this article by Bruce Dowbiggin.
As much as you would want to admit it, McGuire brings a necessary voice to the television experience. He provides great in-depth on-ice analysis and has many connections around the league. Combined with his eccentric personality, nobody else can claim that they share these same traits. Perhaps these characteristics make him a viable candidate for the GM position, but it already makes him an essential TV personality. Clearly, it will be difficult to replace McGuire, if he is hired as the next Wild GM.
Although diffcult, it is not impossible. Just as Leipold has made a shortlist of candidates to be the Wild’s new GM, I have compiled a shortlist to replace McGuire as TSN analyst.
Ray Ferraro seems to have been groomed for the position. Starting this season, he has worked behind the glass and between the benches for the West-coast games on TSN. He is also a former player, something McGuire is not. However Ferraro lacks the intensity that McGuire is known for. It seems as if every time Ferraro gets excited and tries to exude some intensity, a speech impediment is exposed. He gets too excited and his mouth can’t catch up to his brain, which causes a minor lisp that is evident during intense moments of hockey games. Because Ferraro has experience between the benches, he is likely to inherit the potential vacancy.
Gord Miller has worked the NHL on TSN forever. However, he is more suited for the booth, rather than ice level. Plus, he calls a good game, so I wouldn’t mess with that.
Darren Dutchychen is a viable candidate. He co-hosts In This Corner, a boxing show with Russ Anber, which allows him to temper his intensity. He also seems to be the closest to McGuire (literally), so it is possible that many characteristics have been passed on.
Jack Armstrong is a darkhorse pick for this position. Armstrong is currently the analyst for the Toronto Raptors, but he is a sports guy and he loves hockey. He has developed his knowledge for hockey after co-hosting the Game Plan on the Fan 590 with former Columbus Blue Jackets’ GM, Doug McLean. Like McGuire, Armstrong is enthusiastic, offers great analysis and even has his own catch phrase. Just as McGuire had “Monster!” Armstrong says “Hello!” This seems too perfect.
The only problem is that Armstrong does not have the hockey knowledge that McGuire possesses that is necessary for this position. Armstrong is also an employee of Sportsnet, which is owned by Rogers and TSN is owned by CTV Globemedia. Is there a transfer agreement? He could, of course, simply defect from Sportsnet and sneak into TSN, much like Darren Dreger did a few years ago.