And the Sens Sickos rejoiced.
The Ottawa Senators took a Monday morning news bomb to nuclear levels this morning by announcing the appointment of former NBC Analyst, Pierre McGuire as the team’s senior vice president of player development.
According to the official press release, McGuire will “work closely with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and team owner Eugene Melnyk as the team continues to develop into a Stanley Cup contender”.
The 59-year-old clearly brings a resume littered with hockey experience to his new role with the Senators – some better; some worse.
For instance, McGuire won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach in 1992, marking the last time he would coach a team in any capacity to an above .500 record, before moving to the Hartford Whalers that summer, where, just over a year later, he would take over as the team’s General Manager.
Thus began a meteoric rise within the Whalers organization for Mcguire.
In 1993, McGuire would step behind the Whalers’ bench as the youngest head coach in the league at the time, replacing a disgruntled Paul Holmgren who would be taking over the general manager’s position. Plagued by locker room discontent, this would serve as McGuire’s only campaign as an NHL head coach.
For as fast as McGuire rose in Hartford, his fall was just as sudden. In May of 1994, and with the Whalers coming off a 23-37-7 season in which they failed to make the playoffs yet again, Holmgren fired McGuire in a move that team captain, Pat Verbeek called at the time “the best thing that could have happened”.
The rest, they say, is history. McGuire would begin his television career with TSN years later in 2002 and serve as an analyst and color commentator across multiple networks for the bulk of the next two decades, popping up as a sleeper candidate in teams GM searches from time to time. Now, he’s finally back.
This is not McGuire’s first tour of duty in the Nation’s Capital. The man most know as the human version of a hockey encyclopedia actually served as a part-time scout for the Senators in 1994 before quickly being elevated to the role of Assistant Coach soon after in 1995.
Alas, history has a way of repeating itself. Despite his quick rise, McGuire was relieved of his duties by the Senators in 1996 and would never hold an official position with an NHL team again.
Until now, that is. And thus, a new era of Ottawa Senators hockey has begun.