Staying in touch

Dave Molinari 1 year ago

It has become evident over the past few days that TV analyst Pierre McGuire is, in fact, a serious candidate to become the Penguins’ next general manager.

The latest bit of evidence: McGuire not only was in Pittsburgh last weekend to discuss the opening with the team executives conducting the search for Ray Shero’s successor, but is believed to have received at least two phone calls from those officials since their face-to-face meeting.

What isn’t certain is how unusual that level of contact is in this process, and whether it is any sort of reflection of where McGuire stands in the preferred pecking order.

Is, for example, Penguins interim GM Jason Botterill having regular conversations with the executives, who work in the same building he does? That could be more telling/impressive than a couple of phone calls.

And has Tampa Bay assistant GM Julien BriseBois, who seemed to be the early frontrunner in the hunt for Shero’s replacement, been called twice since he, too, interviewed here last weekend? Four times? Eight times?

Only the people who would sit across the table from Botterill at Consol Energy Center or initiate those phone conversations with BriseBois – co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle and team executives David Morehouse and Travis Williams – know for sure, and they’re not talking publicly.

Neither are any of the GM contenders.

Except, of course, for McGuire, whose candidacy dominated part of a conference call with reporters earlier this week in advance of the Stanley Cup final.

Regardless, this all could be resolved in the fairly near future.

While the Penguins have not announced a timetable for replacing Shero, who was fired May 16, an announcement about the next GM could come before the end of the week.

At which point the focus will shift to deciding who will be behind the Penguins' bench in 2014-15.

Coach Dan Bylsma and his assistants still have their jobs, but the next GM purportedly will have the latitude to fire any or all of them and assemble a staff of his choosing.