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Penguins' search for general manager continues

| Thursday, June 5, 2014, 7:45 p.m.

Three weeks after Ray Shero's firing, only three names have publicly emerged during the Penguins' search for a general manager.

However, there is no indication if the team is close to filling the position. NHL general managers are scheduled to hold their annual Stanley Cup Final meeting Wednesday in Manhattan.

League agent Pat Brisson, NBC Sports broadcaster Pierre McGuire and interim general manager Jason Botterill were or are candidates to replace Shero, who was fired May 16.

McGuire, 52, and Botterill, 38, have spoken with the Penguins. Brisson, 49, pulled his name from consideration on May 19, three days after Shero was fired.

McGuire remained in Los Angeles on Thursday, the first of two consecutive off days between Games 1 and 2 of the Final. The NHL would take no issue with McGuire working the Final for NBC Sports while he was employed as Penguins general manager, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email.

Brisson, whose clients include Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, also was in Los Angeles. His offices are based there.

Botterill has been running the Penguins' hockey side; including conducting exit interviews with players Thursday for AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He is not permitted to make trades or negotiate with impending free agents.

Botterill is a candidate for the full-time job, CEO David Morehouse said.

McGuire and Brisson have ties to majority co-owner Mario Lemieux.

McGuire was an assistant coach and scout on the Penguins' 1992 title team that Lemieux captained. McGuire is Lemieux's neighbor in Montreal, where Lemieux recently built a mansion for his immediate and extended family.

Brisson has known Lemieux, a fellow French Canadian, for more than 30 years. He also has become close with Lemieux's primary Penguins partner, Ron Burkle. Brisson was considered for the general manager job early in the search that resulted in Shero's hiring eight years ago.

At the time of Shero's firing, Morehouse said there was no set date for a general manager to be hired and that he would not comment while the search was ongoing.

Morehouse is spearheading the search. He reports directly to Lemieux, a former Hall-of-Fame player, and Burkle, a billionaire businessman. Team COO Travis Williams, a lawyer, also has been involved in discussions and or interviews with candidates.

The Penguins are the only team without a general manager. Openings with Washington and Vancouver were filled within the past two weeks, though those clubs missed the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Penguins had missed the playoffs when Shero was hired May 25, 2006, to replace former general manager Craig Patrick, who had been fired April 20.

Generally, clubs that advance to Round 2 — as the Penguins did this season — do not fire the general manager. That is because playing in Round 2 usually means a club will turn a profit and also there is only about a month between the end of the second round and the NHL Entry Draft.

The upcoming draft is scheduled for June 27-28 in Philadelphia. Free agency begins July 1.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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