McGuire joins Senators front office as senior VP of player development

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Pierre McGuire was named senior vice president of player development for the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

The 59-year-old will work with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and owner Eugene Melnyk. He was an analyst for NBC Sports since 2006 and last worked in the NHL as an assistant coach for Ottawa in 1995-96.

“I’m super-pumped. We’re going to have some fun,” McGuire told the Ottawa Sun. “I see my role as being there to help (Dorion), helping the hockey operations department, player development and being somebody who can help the organization. It’s important to have lots of information when you make decisions and I’d like to think I’d be very good at gathering information.

“The biggest thing is just bring my experience and knowledge of the League. I’ve been in the League for over 30 years. Over the last 23 years, I’ve had pretty much unfettered access to the League in terms of players and management decisions. That’s something that’s pretty helpful. I felt my conversations with Eugene and Pierre have been very fruitful and I’ve enjoyed them very much.”

McGuire began his coaching career at his alma mater, Hobart College, in 1984. He was an assistant at Babson College and St. Lawrence University before he was hired as a special assignment scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins and later was an assistant. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1992, joined the Hartford Whalers as an assistant on Aug. 28 of that year and became the youngest coach in the NHL at age 32 when he replaced Paul Holmgren on Nov. 16, 1993. McGuire was 23-37-7 when he was fired by the Whalers on May 19, 1994 and began his broadcasting career as a Montreal Canadiens analyst for TSN radio.

“On behalf of the entire Senators organization, I would like to welcome Pierre McGuire back to Ottawa,” Melnyk said. “We are excited to add Pierre to our hockey management group. His experience will be instrumental as we continue to build an elite team. Pierre’s knowledge of the game and its players is highly regarded, and I am confident that he will positively assist our team as it progresses to the next level.”

The Senators were 23-28-5 this season, sixth in the seven-team Scotia North Division. They haven’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, when they were defeated by the Penguins in double overtime. Ottawa will lose a player to the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21 and owns the No. 10 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on July 23. 

Seven first-round picks played for the Senators this season: Forwards Brady Tkachuk (No. 4, 2018 NHL Draft), Tim Stutzle (No. 3, 2020), Logan Brown (No. 11, 2016) and Colin White (No. 21, 2015), and defensemen Erik Brannstrom (No. 15, 2017 by the Vegas Golden Knights), Thomas Chabot (No. 18, 2015) and Jacob Bernard-Docker (No. 26, 2018). Defenseman Jake Sanderson was the No. 5 pick in 2020.

“(Dorion’s) vision for the team is really strong and I hope I can be that sounding board and that’s the plan. He’s got other people internally that he can bounce things off of as well,” McGuire said. “The amateur scouting department, led by Trent Mann, is phenomenal, their development program in Belleville led by Troy Mann has been great. There’s lots of people internally.

“I’d like to think I can play a part in that.”

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