NBC analyst McGuire: 'I've met with Penguins' about GM vacancy
NBC plans for broadcaster Pierre McGuire to call the Stanley Cup Final.
The Penguins' plans for McGuire are less clear.
McGuire said Tuesday that he has met with the Penguins regarding their general manager vacancy, though he stopped short of saying he interviewed for the job.
“I met with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I talked with the Pittsburgh Penguins. So have a lot of other people. It's a long list. It's an attractive job. There are a lot of people who would like to have that job,” McGuire said during a conference call to promote NBC Sports' coverage of the upcoming Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
McGuire first said he “met” with the Penguins during a Tuesday morning interview with a TSN radio affiliate in Toronto.
McGuire said on conference call that he “could not speak” to being a potential finalist for the Penguins' vacancy, which was created when his longtime friend, Ray Shero, was fired May 16 after eight seasons.
“Ray Shero has done a great job building the infrastructure,” McGuire said. “There are a lot of people that would like that job.”
McGuire, 52, is a face of hockey throughout North America because of his work with NBC Sports and Canada's TSN. Sam Flood, executive producer of NBC Sports' NHL coverage, said McGuire will work through the Cup Final even if he is hired by the Penguins.
McGuire also was an assistant coach and scout for the Penguins' 1992 Cup championship team, which was captained by Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux.
In recent years, McGuire reportedly has interviewed for general manager jobs with Tampa Bay and Montreal. He briefly coached Hartford (1993-94) but has not worked with an NHL team since 1996.
Since firing Shero, Penguins CEO David Morehouse has not publicly commented on the general manager search. After Shero's firing, Morehouse said assistant general manager Jason Botterill, currently serving as interim GM, was a candidate to assume the post full-time.
The Penguins have not publicly identified candidates other than Botterill, who has been with the organization for the past seven seasons.
Botterill, 38, has handled many roles, including those of lead contract negotiator, salary-cap manager, manager of AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and roving scout. He was a first-round pick at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and played parts of six seasons. After retiring, he earned a master's degree in business administration from Michigan and worked with NHL Central Registry.
Botterill was a candidate for recent general manager vacancies with Buffalo and Vancouver.
Only the Penguins currently are without a general manager. Their hire will evaluate the entire hockey operations department and determine the fate of coach Dan Bylsma and his assistants, Morehouse said.
Morehouse is spearheading the search. He reports directly to majority co-owners Lemieux and Ron Burkle, a billionaire businessman. COO Travis Williams, a lawyer, also has participated in candidate interviews. There is no set date by which to have a general manager in place, Morehouse said.
The Penguins will not comment while the search is ongoing, Morehouse said. No members of the hockey operations department are permitted to speak publicly during the search.
No other team employees are in the loop regarding the search, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review. Current members of the hockey operations staff — including amateur scouts — are conducting business as usual, the sources said. That includes preparation for the draft (June 27-28) and the start of free agency (July 1). Botterill has not been granted permission to negotiate contracts with eligible players, the sources said.
Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe are staff writers for Trib Total Media.