PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Newly-appointed Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin joined The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday to talk about his new position and the team’s busy offseason.
He told the guys that he and new GM Jim Rutherford haven’t met yet to figure out exactly what Guerin’s role will be; but nevertheless, he’s happy because things are finally getting closer to settling down.
“You’re always a little apprehensive when big changes like that occur,” Guerin said. “I have to be honest with you, it’s a real weird time. We’re all kind of in limbo, not knowing what the future holds. I would like to think I was going to be back, but you never know; and even if you’re back, you never know to what capacity. So, pretty happy guy right now and just looking forward to getting back on track and a little bit of normalcy around here.”
During that “weird” period, Guerin didn’t speak to Dan Bylsma, with Bylsma in Pittsburgh and Guerin spending much of his time in Wilkes-Barre.
“I talked to Dan for the first time a couple days ago,” Guerin said. “It was just an awkward time.”
When asked about the elusive “grit and character” that many feel Bylsma’s team came to lack, Guerin said it’s very important for your skill players to exhibit those attributes.
“We do have character,” Guerin said. “We do have some grit. We need more. We need more character. We need more grit. But you know what, we also need talented players with grit. You see what’s going on in the Stanley Cup Finals right now, you have two teams that are super-talented, but they all play hard on the puck, they all compete for 50-50 pucks. We need skilled players that can win puck battles and make things happen out there. You have to play hard, you have to compete. We need some blue collar, we need a little bit more grit, and we’ll do our best to do that.”
Sidney Crosby has been a major target for criticism over the past couple years as well, and Guerin explained that Crosby is subject to the same challenges that we all are.
“One thing that people forget is that as great as he is, he’s a human being,” Guerin said. “And you know what? People have off playoff times. Nobody knows what happened- hey, maybe he’s just struggling with something personally. Who knows? He’s a human being and that happens. So we’re ready to just start fresh in September and give our guys what they need to succeed.”
The interview can be heard here: