Pierre McGuire Is Now the Front-Runner for Tampa Bay GM Job

Matt HutterAnalyst IMay 13, 2010

Several sources are reporting that Detroit Red Wings Vice President of Operations, Steve Yzerman, has turned down an offer to become GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This news comes just days after Dave Nonis, another prospective Lightning GM, signed an extension to stay on with the Toronto Maple Leafs; effectively taking his name out of consideration for the job.

Though Yzerman was reportedly the first choice of team owner, Jeff Vinik, the Lightning did not appear to offer the right opportunity for Yzerman to begin his GM career.

With Nonis, and now Yzerman, out of the running, the team has now apparently turned its sights toward TV analyst Pierre McGuire as a front-runner for the GM job.

A representative of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC (owned by Jeff Vinik) spoke to Bleacher Report, on condition of anonymity, regarding Vinik's targeting of McGuire for the vacant GM position.

"Pierre McGuire has a wealth of experience in the NHL, beyond his recent history as a TV analyst."

McGuire was a scout and an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992, years in which they won the Stanley Cup back-to-back.

When asked if this had any bearing on Vinik's selection of McGuire as a candidate, the representative said, "Yes, of course. That's a major factor in making this selection."

When reminded of the fact that these championships took place nearly 20 years ago and, with a team featuring Scotty Bowman as the coach and stars Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr on the ice, McGuire likely had as much to do with winning those championships as did the parking lot attendants at Mellon Arena.

The representative had this to say: "Well, that's one way to look at it, but, you know, Pierre also has head coaching experience, that's a big plus in our book.  That's something we're definitely looking for."

When it was explained to the representative that McGuire's head coaching experience is comprised of one season (1993-94) in which he coached the Hartford Whalers to a losing 23-37-7 record, the representative was incredulous.

"Really? That's the experience Jeff is referring to? I wasn't aware of those numbers, that's not very good is it?"

Bleacher Report informed the source that it was indeed not very good and asked for comment on McGuire's more recent achievements as a broadcaster and how they might inform his position as a GM.

"Well, really, what can you say? He's right there between the benches, he gets to hear what the players are talking about, so, I guess he knows how they feel about, you know, things, things that are going on, so, that's good experience, right?"

Bleacher Report then asked for comment on a clip of several of McGuire's performances as an analyst in which he makes pointless comments, idiotic assertions, undresses Sidney Crosby with his eyes and suggests that players in the Winter Classic score goals because the wind pushes them along the ice.

"This is Pierre McGuire? The same guy we're interviewing next week? Wow, I didn't know it was this guy.  I mean, he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about.  Even I know the wind can't push someone along the ice and I've lived in Florida my whole life."

When it was suggested that, in targeting McGuire, Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment doesn't really know what it's doing, the representative replied, "No, I don't think we do."

Bleacher Report then assured the representative that that was fine, because Pierre McGuire doesn't know what he's doing either.