Gariuch: Senators fire Vice President Pierre McGuire after less than a year on the job

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Senators in Ottawa showed the door to Pierre McGuire after only 10 months in the business.

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The 60-year-old was appointed by senators on Monday, appointed as senior vice president of hockey development by late owner Eugene Melnick. McGuire was informed of the decision Monday morning at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Introduced July 12, 2021, after a lengthy broadcast career with NBC Sports, McGuire has been doing a lot of exploration for the organization in the past few months and has spent a significant amount of time with the club’s affiliate AHL in Belleville.

He signed a three-year deal with the organization, sold his Connecticut home and moved to Ottawa. McGuire is spending the summer in nearby Mont-Tremblant and was excited to join the Senators when his appointment was announced.

Director-General Pierre Dorion did not comment on the decision.

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The club confirmed on Monday afternoon that McGuire was “no longer with the organisation”.

The belief is that the senators did not feel that McGuire was fit and that’s why the decision was made to cut ties with him. McGuire was hoping to help the club get past the corner after the Senators missed the playoffs this spring.

“We thank Pierre for his contributions and wish him success in his future endeavours,” the club said in a statement.

Dorion had to get the approval of the club’s three board of directors – Sheldon Pliner, Lawrence Ziffman and John Miszuk – to make the move. They have been dealing with senior people in the organization since Melnyk’s untimely death on March 28.

While Plener, Zeifman and Miszuk have to agree to all decisions, the organisation, CFO Erin Crowe, Anthony LeBlanc, the club’s chief commercial officer, and Dorion run the organization on a daily basis.

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The decision to bring in McGuire stunned the hockey world. Hired by Melnyk to help support Dorion in rating players. Signing defenseman Michael Del Zotto as an unrestricted free agent last summer didn’t work out the way anyone expected.

The common belief in hockey circles is that McGuire played a big role in this decision.

Melnyk spoke to several people about the NHL before bringing McGuire on board. Former Detroit Red Wings General Manager Jim DeValano McGuire gave a strong recommendation.

McGuire has been with NBC since 2006, but began his radio career in 1997 as a color analyst for TSN Radio on Montreal Canadiens for five seasons. Then he worked for TSN as a color analyst on television for four years.

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He was also an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Stanley Cup in 1991-1992. He spent three seasons with Hartford Whalers and was the interim coach before leaving at the end of the 1993-94 season.

This was McGuire’s second role with the Ottawa Organization, a former scout coach and a former Senate assistant. Starting here in 1994 as a professional explorer, he moved to assistant coaching position with Dave Allison in November 1995 and was separated with the rest of the coaching staff midway through the 1995-1996 season when Pierre Gaultier took over as coach. Director general.

McGuire was involved in all aspects of the organization and was regularly on trips. He and Dorion have been to the University of North Dakota on more than one occasion this season to see the club’s prospects, including Jake Sanderson and Tyler Cleven.

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It is not known if anyone will be brought in to replace McGuire.

This position was created by Melnyk specifically for someone with McGuire’s experience, so it is doubtful that this will be the case and any duties that the rest of the hockey operations department could perform.

This is a pivotal summer for the organization to take the right steps to get Senators in the mix for the ballpark next season. This is the fifth year in a row that senators have missed the playoffs and people want the organization back to compete.

The club would like to add the six best strikers to play on the right side of Tim Stuetzle.

After holding the NHL draft lottery on Tuesday, Dorion is preparing to head abroad for the IIHF World Championship, which kicks off Friday in Helsinki. Ottawa defensive players Thomas Chabot and Nick Holden are on Team Canada, along with forward Drake Paterson.

Ottawa coach DJ Smith is also an assistant to the Canadian coaching staff, so he’ll be able to get a look at the players the club has in mind as well.

The Senators know that the path to making an improvement next season will not be easy.

The club will have to improve itself with a free agency on July 13 and make deals that will have an immediate impact. The senators have been linked with Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroud, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, along with Minnesota Wilde striker Kevin Villala.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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