The Ottawa Senators have hired Pierre McGuire as senior vice-president of player development, the team announced Monday.
McGuire, who most recently worked as a hockey broadcaster with NBC Sports, previously worked for the Senators as a scout and, later, an assistant coach during the 1995-96 season.
“On behalf of the entire Senators organization, I would like to welcome Pierre McGuire back to Ottawa,” Eugene Melnyk, the team's owner, said in a press release. “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.”
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told reporters Monday it was a "no-brainer" to hire McGuire.
McGuire began his coaching career at Hobart College, the school in Geneva, N.Y., which he attended as a student while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. The 59-year-old got his first break in the NHL as a scout f
or the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and later served as the Penguins' assistant coach, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 1992.
McGuire went on to join the Hartford Whalers organization, occupying the role of assistant coach, assistant general manager and, eventually, head coach of the team during his tenure. After his departure from the Whalers, his brief stint with the Senators began before entering the world of broadcasting.
"I'm super pumped. We're going to have some fun," McGuire said in an interview with Bruce Garrioch of 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 rebuilding Senators, who have missed the playoffs each of the last four seasons, finished last season with a 23-28-5 record.
Ottawa is heading into an unusually hectic off-season schedule that could be transformative, with the expansion draft taking place on July 21, the NHL Draft -- where the Senators hold the 10th overall pick -- taking place from July 23-24, and free agency following shortly after on July 28.
"The plan is really solid and concrete,” McGuire told Garrioch. "I respect the vision that they have. There are organizational needs that they have, and there are few perfect teams in the league. One thing you try do, and I believe (Dorion) has been doing this, is you try to get players that your coach is comfortable with and players that will help the coach win.
"That’s the process everyone is going through, right now.”