PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Few men have as much insight into what Pierre McGuire can bring to a team as Frank Pietrangelo does.
The netminder played for the Penguins during McGuire’s tenure as a young, up-and-coming assistant coach in Pittsburgh. He then spent a couple of months playing for the Whalers during McGuire’s short-lived head coaching run in Hartford.
Pietrangelo credited McGuire for his knowledge and work ethic, and noted that he wouldn’t be a total stranger. However, he wondered if a guy can get back into the game after a long absence given the complexities of managing a team in the salary cap era and how much has changed since his departure.
“You look at the Penguins from top to bottom in the past and what they’ve had there, especially in the last few years, you can see why they’ve been so successful,” Pietrangelo said. “So, I think you need somebody that can reach out to people, draw the right people in, and be very familiar with what’s going on around them, not somebody who’s completely new to what’s going on.”
He wouldn’t say whether or not McGuire would be the right fit for the Penguins at the moment, although he did shed a little more light on his concerns about such a marriage.
“I’m not here to say whether Pierre is right or wrong for the job, because I really don’t know,” Pietrangelo said. “He’s been gone for so long in that capacity, I don’t know if that’s the right fit or not, that’s going to be for the big guys, to make that type of decision.”
Whalers captain Pat Verbeek said McGuire’s firing was the best thing that could have happened to the team at the time. Pietrangelo wasn’t quick to disagree based on the time he had spent with the team before things really went downhill.
“It was an ugly time,” Pietrangelo said. “I mean, the Whalers were a messed up franchise at that time. They were just turning everything over, from coaches, to GMs, to assistant coaches every year, trying something different. What happened behind the scenes, I don’t know, but what Pat says is probably true in the most part.”
The interview can be heard here: