Pierre McGuire born August 8, 1961), is an American–Canadian ice hockey color commentator for the National Hockey League (NHL) broadcasts on NBC in the United States and TSN in Canada. Previously, he was a player, coach, and scout.
Early life Edit
McGuire was born in Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey to a French-Canadian mother and an Irish-American father. He grew up in the Montreal area, (Mount Royal, Westmount, and Sainte-Adèle) and attended Lower Canada College.
In 1977 his family moved to Cresskill, New Jersey due to anti-anglophone sentiment in Montreal that made it difficult for McGuire's father, Rex, to run his car dealership. McGuire attended Bergen Catholic High School where he played football and hockey.
Playing career Edit
McGuire was a standout hockey defenseman at Hobart College from 1979 to 1982. He also pitched for Hobart's baseball team and played quarterback on the football team for two years. He graduated from Hobart with an English degree. After college, McGuire played one season of hockey in the Netherlands. In 1984 he attended the New Jersey Devils' training camp, but did not make the team.
Coaching and scouting career Edit
Early career and Pittsburgh Penguins Edit
McGuire began his coaching career at his alma mater, Hobart College, in 1984. He was paid $500 a season and made ends meet by working as a substitute English, math and physical education teacher in the Geneva, New York school district. In 1985 he was named assistant hockey and lacrosse coach at Babson College. At Babson he coached hockey under future New York Islanders head coach Steve Stirling. After three seasons at Babson he moved to St. Lawrence University, where he was an assistant hockey coach from 1988 to 1990. While at SLU, McGuire met Scotty Bowman, who frequently came to the school to visit his daughter. When Bowman became Director of Player Development and Recruitment for the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 12, 1990, he offered McGuire a job as a special assignment scout. When Bowman became interim head coach in 1991, McGuire was named assistant coach. McGuire won 2 Stanley Cups as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
Hartford Whalers Edit
McGuire joined the Hartford Whalers on August 28, 1992 as an assistant coach and on September 8, 1993 became the team's assistant general manager. On November 16, 1993, McGuire was named head coach of the Whalers. He replaced Paul Holmgren, who had stepped aside due to frustration with a lack of effort from his players and a desire to focus on his role as the team's general manager. At 32, McGuire was the youngest head coach in the NHL. Prior to becoming coach of the Whalers, McGuire had never been a head coach at any level. During his six months as Whalers head coach, McGuire coached the team to a 23-37-7 record. McGuire was fired on May 19, 1994. After McGuire was fired, captain Pat Verbeek called it the best thing that could have happened to the Whalers. He said that his teammates had no respect for McGuire and that McGuire was mocked by other teams. In 1995, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ruled that McGuire would forfeit half of the remaining salary owed to him by the Whalers for providing confidential coaching evaluations that had been prepared while employed by Hartford to the Edmonton Oilers.
Later career Edit
Following his departure from the Whalers, McGuire became a scout with the Ottawa Senators. On November 22, 1995, he was elevated to the position of assistant coach. On January 23, 1996, McGuire was fired along with head coach Dave Allison and goaltending coach Chico Resch.
On August 27, 1996, McGuire was named the inaugural head coach of the ECHL's Baton Rouge Kingfish.He was given a three year contract. McGuire led the team to a 31-33-6 record and a 7th place finish in the South Division. On July 12, 1997, McGuire exercised an escape clause in his contract to become the radio analyst for CJAD's broadcasts of Montreal Canadiens games.
Broadcasting career Edit
From 1993–95 and 2001–02, McGuire served as color commentator for the Montreal Canadiens English-language radio broadcasts on CJAD 800. He also worked on some of the team's regional television broadcasts on TSN when primary color commentator Gary Green was unavailable and was a contributor to TSN's That's Hockey.
When TSN re-acquired the Canadian national cable rights to NHL hockey in 2002, McGuire was hired as its lead color commentator. With TSN, McGuire called the games along with the play-by-play voice of Gord Miller or Chris Cuthbert. He also did special hockey events for TSN, including the NHL Entry Draft, and international events like the IIHF World Junior Championships. He also hosted a segment known as "McGuire's Monsters", where he covers a player with a significant impact through a combination of skills.
McGuire also writes for Sports Illustrated and provides frequent commentary on New York's WFAN, Toronto's Sportsnet 590, Ottawa radio station, the Team 1200, the Ottawa Senators fan podcast SensUnderground, and Montreal's TSN 690 where he can be heard on the Mitch Melnick show, the TEAM 1040 in Vancouver heard on the Canucks Lunch with Rick Ball, as well as Wednesday mornings on Calgary's Fan 960.
Beyond hockey, McGuire served as a reporter for water polo at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics for NBC.
Stances on issues in hockey Edit
McGuire has been outspoken as an advocate of removing the red line and allowing skilled players to play a skilled game without clutching and grabbing impeding them. His views of hockey have him campaigning for all players to wear partial visors. McGuire's outspoken nature provided one of the more interesting stories during the 2004–05 NHL hockey lockout. After McGuire claimed that, if asked to vote privately, more than 70% of NHL players would accept an owner-imposed salary cap, NHL player Tie Domi countered that McGuire was completely off-base. McGuire later retracted part of his claim by saying he never should have given a percentage but that he still believed strongly that assertion was true. In the end, the players accepted a salary cap arrangement in the 2005 CBA.
Personal life Edit
McGuire is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. He has previously resided in Mount Royal, Quebec, Westmount, Quebec, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, Cresskill, New Jersey, Alpine, New Jersey, Fort Lee, New Jersey, Hingham, Massachusetts, and Montreal, and currently lives in New Canaan, Connecticut. He has been married twice and has two children, both by his second wife.