PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – To hear NBC NHL commentator Pierre McGuire tell it, he was certainly in the running for the Penguins open general manager position that was today given to former Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford.
McGuire joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about not getting the job and how his name got into the mix.
“They have a very good product there and the team has been extremely well run. That’s one of the reasons why I was interested in the position,” McGuire said. “I didn’t call them, they called me, and that’s something else people need to know. For these general manager jobs around the league, you don’t send in a résumé and all of a sudden they call you up after they research your résumé, they know who you are, they know who the players are out there.”
There were rumors floated out there by Nick Kypreos today that negotiations between McGuire and the Pens went so deep that they couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract as he wanted a five-year deal, but the team only wanted to give him a two-year contract, and that’s why the team went to Jim Rutherford.
McGuire addressed those rumors with Starkey and Mueller.
“I haven’t spoken with Nick, so I don’t know where that came from,” McGuire said. “I do know… that I had fantastic conversations with everyone involved with the Pittsburgh Penguins starting with David Morehouse and Travis Williams going to Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux. The process that I had the privilege of being a part of was phenomenal. It was thoroughly enjoyable and it would have been a great honor to have worked for the Pittsburgh Penguins and go back to where my career started.”
McGuire went on to talk about what an honor it was for him just to be a part of the process.
“It’s an honor to have been this deep into the process and visit with the people that I had a chance to visit with there,” said McGuire. “I’ve been through the process a lot now being a manager, a potential manager in the league, and this was one of the most enjoyable processes I’ve been through, and I’ve got to tell you, you folks are so fortunate to have people like Mario Lemieux involved with your team. He’s a fantastic human being, he’s a tremendous, tremendous person and the thing that I admired the most about him was the way he carried himself throughout the process with me and I really enjoyed it.”
When it comes to the guy who got the job in Rutherford, McGuire had a lot of positives to say about him and the position he finds himself in.
“I wish him nothing but the best,” McGuire said. “I just hope Jimmy (Rutherford) goes in there and has a blast with it. I think he will. He’s working with an amazing team with huge resources. The fan base in Pittsburgh is as good as there is in the league, that’s a real positive starting point. The building’s full every night, that’s another positive starting point. Ray Shero has left him with a ton of really good young players and older players. The future for the franchise should be extremely bright, and I’m really excited to see how it turns out.”
All that being said, McGuire expressed some disappointment that he didn’t get the job.
“Sure there’s disappointment on my part. But I’m really excited for the fans in Pittsburgh. I’ll always be proud of having worked there and winning two Stanley Cups there,” he said.
Listen to the audio below as McGuire also discussed what it will take for the Pens to reestablish their identity, which they have lost in recent years and whether or not he’ll continue to pursue future general manager openings.