Exposing Pierre McGuire

There are a few people in the media that I really dislike and Pierre McGuire is one of them. It’s not that I don’t think he is knowledgable about the game of hockey (like Steve Simmons who I aslo dislike) but just that he often everexaggerates everything and/or he panders to his audience. For example, when he is on Ottawa radio he often puts down the Leafs because that plays well in Ottawa. He does that much less so on Toronto radio. But some things he has said in the past 2 days really has me wondering about his sanity.

1. On Friday he said he thought that the Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to be in the playoff race. That’s a pretty bold statement for a team that finished with 65 and 71 points the past two seasons and will likely need closer to 95 points to make the playoffs. It’s even more bold when you consider that the only moves of significance they made was signing Robert Lang and Yanick Perreault and trading Adrian Aucoin for Andrei Zyuzin and picking up Sergei Samsonov for a couple of fringe players. I am sorry Pierre but those moves plus the addition of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews is not going to be enough to turn the blackhawks around unless you think both Kane and Toews will be the next Sidney Crosby next season. But even Sidney Crosby didn’t turn the Penguins around in year one. The Blackhawks have next to zero chance of making the playoffs.

2. This morning he stated (in the context of how difficult it will be for the Leafs and Canadiens to make the playoffs) that Washington will also be in the playoff fight. Now I think this is a bit more viable than the Blackhawks prediction because I think the Capitals added more this off season (Nylander, Kozlov, Poti, and top rookie Backstrom) but I don’t think even that is enough to move them from 70 points to the 90+ points it will take to make the playoffs.

3. In the context of how tough it will be for Toskala to play for the Leafs he mentioned that he will be playing for a team with a weak defense and for a team that will struggle to score. Now, as you all might know, I don’t think the Leafs have a weak defense (and goaltending was their problem) but at least McGuire has the team goals against average to use to back up that statement. But a weak offense? This is a team that finished 8th and 7th in goals scored the past 2 seasons and just added a 40 goal scorer and should get more games played by Wellwood and Tucker this year. The Leafs are not an offensively challenged team.

I am going to be interested to see where he predicts the Blackhawks, Capitals and Leafs will be when TSN has their season preview show in a few weeks. Any bets that he says that Washington and Chicago have little chance at the playoffs and the Leafs have a chance?

This article has 16 Comments

  1. Ok, here’s the top 5 teams in the West: Detroit, San Jose, Calgary, Anaheim, and Vancouver. Then in the next rung you’ve got Minnesota, Dallas, and Colorado. That’s 8 teams. Which one of those does Pierre think will finish behind or even CLOSE to Chicago?

    Then in the East: Ottawa, Rangers, Pittsburgh are all locks pretty much. Then the log jam of Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, New Jersey, Philly, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida sets in. Now… I grant that one or two of these teams could suffer serious setbacks due to injury, or perhaps age… but I still don’t see Washington being much better than a fringe player in an 12 team race.

    Sorry Pierre, but since I don’t think the Washington DC and Chicago areas get TSN, I fail to see how or why he would make such wacko statements. He can’t be appealing to their season ticket holders… can he?

    Who knows, but since his wonderful run through the 03 and 04 playoffs (combined 20-10 record at picking playoff series winners) he went 6-9 in 06, and REFUSED to pick series winners in 07. Maybe Pierre doesn’t know the NEW NHL as well as he knew the old one?

  2. Meh, McGuire’s just making things interesting. He’s certainly wrong, as both the Hawks and Capitals have to have a lot go right to make it in. But both these teams should play some exciting hockey, so it’s hard not to cheer for them. Plus one thing you can’t count out is their veteran goaltenders – if either of them plays to their prime form, they could be a tough match.

    But McGuire will certainly leave them out of his season preview.

  3. McGuire is a huge backer of all things related to the ‘new NHL’ and because of that he believes, or at least wants people to believe, that young skilled stars can and will dominate the new NHL and that is why he gets all excited over Chicago and Washington. Washington has Backstrom, maybe the best player not in the NHL last year, and Chicago has Toews and Kane, two very good prospects. I don’t know why but I think he feels it is his job to push the merits of young stars. Of course he got burned last year when he thought Jiri Hudler of the Red Wings was in for a huge year. He wasn’t bad, but certainly no where close to the top rookies in the league.

    There are certainly a lot of less knowledgeable people in the hockey media world but I really have to pick on McGuire because he wants to come across as a know-it-all so when he says stupid things I feel I have to warn people that he is a bit looney at times too and often panders to the audience.

    As for hockey, I wouldn’t completely rule out Nashville’s chances, though they took a huge hit now that Sullivan is out until January. But since Nashville plays Columbus, Chicago and St. Louis 24 times they get a bit of an unfair advantage over teams in the northwest division which is easily the toughest division in hockey as I think Edmonton will be much improved and the other 4 teams have serious shots at the playoffs.

  4. Pierre puts himself out there and takes his lumps for it. It is deserved in this case, and he does know his hockey, but it gets a little much when he is the cheerleader for all the players he coached. And when he makes statements like chicago, philly, and washington will be close to 8th or better.

    He does have principle and tries to be fair, but the fact that he coached for Ottawa leaves him with some homer in him. Although he tries to be objective, he doesn’t have much luck when it comes to his players or his teams.

    I enjoy listening to his radio show, bias and all, but watching him on TV is worse than watching Domi. If he could just take a downer and calm down a bit he’d be alright.

    No other sport tries to pick up the pace of their broadcasters. It isn’t natural and seems forced. You can be a passionate sports broacaster without being annoying, the Raptor guys are pretty pumped up, but they’re fun.

    I truly hope that Pierre makes some self improvements because I hear the same stuff about him all the time. He has potential, but he’s been doing it for about 5-7 years and hasn’t heard or listened to what people don’t like about him. He speaks about what it would take for a player to get better, but he doesn’t want to try to do what it takes for him to be an top broadcaster…. I hope he does because he could teach us all a lot, but it’s too hard to watch…

  5. I honestly think Pierre’s problem is he is a Don Cherry wannabe. He tries to say outrageous things like Cherry but while Cherry comes of as genuine (whether you agree with him or not), McGuire comes across as just trying too hard to be controversial. The whole Monster Performer stuff is nonsense. I remember him going all crazy over how great a coach Bryan Murray was for putting Spezza-Heatley-Alfredsson line back together late in the third period while down a goal. That isn’t great coaching, that is common sense. If you need a goal, you put your best offensive line(s) out there as much as possible. He really really really does need to tone it down and stick to providing some thoughtful insight and stay away from making the rediculous overexaggerated statements. But I don’t have high hopes for that because Pierre is a showman and enjoys trying to sound like he knows infinitely more than the fans listening to him.

  6. I think McGuire has peaked as a broadcaster, don’t hold out much hope for him “improving”. He basically reminds me of John Madden from football… lots of knowledge but frankly a crappy communicator that makes a big deal out of mundane stuff.

    He doesn’t use his position as a soap box like Don Cherry, so I wouldn’t really compare him to grapes. Frankly I’d like to keep it that way.

    He might know his hockey, but McGuire is the kind of person I’d rather pour beer on at a game than actually listen to for 60 minutes.

  7. Man, you Canadians have it good. Compared to some of the clowns they’ve put in the booth over the years on ESPN/NBC/ABC here in the States, McGuire is actually willing to do some kind of analysis.

  8. Isn’t McGuire one of those clowns? He has done OLN and NBC in recent years.

    I’d rather have someone clueless that says stupid things than someone who yells and screams and gets way too excited about every little thing that happens in a hockey game and who constantly interrupts the play by play guy to point out the obvious.

    BTW, is it just me or does McGuire sometimes remind you of the Dana Carvey turtle character in Master of Disguise?

  9. McGuire’s day job is as a color commentator and TV analyst. These are the guys who advise that you pick up Crosby in your pool. Their analysis isn’t meant for people who come to hockey websites to read about the sport in their spare time. It’s meant for the casual listener/watcher. Sure McGuire picks on TO in Ottawa. And Sportsnet and TSN give disproportionate coverage to TO and Cole and Neal can’t remember Emery’s name when calling the Finals because the Leafs are where the money is. This isn’t anything new.

    What IS particularly annoying about McGuire is less his analysis, which is the same as everyone else, and more his emulation of American-style, big mouthed sportscasters who yell and exagerrate. But he’s picked his career strategy, and it seems to be working for him. Didn’t he do work with NBC during the the playoffs…?

  10. Frankly, all the “work” he does on the NBC broadcasts is entirely unnecessary. His little “inside the glass” segment that they insist on using is worthless. He just restates the obvious, and frankly is kind of insulting to those who know the game and have half a brain to see what is going on. He’s not alone though, the rest of the NBC team is pretty brain dead.

  11. He’s not the only ones making predictions about wild improvements for the upcoming season.

    If you believe the Hockey Pool guide books, nearly all the players get more points than last year, they all play about 80 games and you can win the pool by picking the young players early, because they’re all going to have huge breakout years. Joe Sakic is likely to score more points than Jiri Hudler, Erik Johnson and Johnathan Toews put together.

    Sure Washington might make the playoffs, but they’re going to have to work hard, develop team chemistry, catch some breaks, and they perservere. Then, they might sneak in.

    Some teams have improved dramatically, some teams look a lot worse on paper than last year, but most look about the same.

    It’s just not that exciting for the media to state the obvious. We’re just going to have to let the teams play the games, and I can’t wait for them to get started.

    Fantasy Hockey Pool Stats .ca

  12. Congrats on this week’s Blog Of The Week nomination….that being said…Pierre should try to be Pierre..and maybe he will get back to that.

  13. The Penguins went from 58 points to 105, almost doubling in one season. Why can’t the Capitals or the Hawks do the same? Like u said the Caps have a better chance since they have good goaltending, they added some quality players, and they have backstrom, ovechkin, semin, nylander, clarke and kozlov rounding out the top 6. thats a pretty scary offense.

    And as for the Hawks, well, a full year of Savard behind the bench will help for sure, Bulin is a good goaltender who just needs support, and their offense is pretty good imo. I think you underrate toews (I also think Mcguire overrated him) but he is one damn good hockey player and should win the calder this season. Their defense is young but ever improving with seabrook, barker and keith as its cornerstone. Now I think it will take something short of a miracle for the to make it, but i certainly think they can get between 80-87 points, and thats not too far off from a playoff spot.

    And there’s nothing wrong with pandering to an audience. Pierre is a business man and hes doing well right now. Technically he is a product and hes selling himself well. I’m sure TSN is also pushing for him to support local teams on radio shows. And why not. Only an idiot would diss the leafs on Toronto stations, or bash the habs on Montreal radio.

  14. Oh, anything is possible and I would give more hope to Washington than Chicago since Washington actually added some good players and have some bright young stars that should continue to improve (kind of like Pittsburgh) and play in a weaker conference. But Chicago has nothing and while Toews and Kane will likely have good NHL careers that are not even in the same ballpark as Malkin or Crosby or Ovechkin. Chicago is depending on Robert Lang, Sergei Samsonov, Yanic Perreault and a couple of rookies to turn their franchise around. It won’t happen and might not happen even if pigs learn to fly and hell freezes over tomorrow.

    And there’s nothing wrong with pandering to an audience.

    Yes, there is when you are a national broadcaster and when you want to be known as a knowledgable hockey man.

    And there’s nothing wrong with pandering to an audience. Pierre is a business man and hes doing well right now. Technically he is a product and hes selling himself well.

    Yes, there is nothing wrong with that but if you are going to be saying different things in different venues while wanting to be portrayed as an unbiased, intelligent, knowledgable hockey man, you better be willing to be exposed as a fraud by me (and others). He has his whole ‘Monster this’ and ‘Monster that’ thing going but he can’t have both that and be a trustworty, unbiased voice. He pretends to be both and that is my problem.

    Oh, and have you read the Toronto news papers or listened to Toronto sports radio? There is more dissing of the Leafs there than anywhere else, much of it undeserving.

  15. Nobody aggravates me in hockey as much as Pierre McGuire. He thinks he knows everything, but doesn’t know anything more than you or I. I even claims to know what a player is thinking out there on the ice. Wow.

    Please TSN, get rid of him. I refuse to watch a game where McGuire is yapping.

  16. Nobody aggravates me in hockey as much as Pierre McGuire. He thinks he knows everything, but doesn’t know anything more than you or I. He even claims to know what a player is thinking out there on the ice. Wow.

    Please TSN, get rid of him. I refuse to watch a game where McGuire is yapping.

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