Tampa Bay Lightning's contact with Pierre McGuire shows team looks for diverse options
The Lightning seems to be speaking to a lot of people about its CEO and general manager jobs. Makes sense as the team likely wants as many options as possible as it tries to find the right fits. With that it mind, Tampa Bay apparently had a preliminary discussion with Pierre McGuire about the GM position.
Another presumed GM candidate, Maple Leafs assistant general manager Dave Nonis, is expected to sign a contract extension with Toronto, according to Canada's TSN, taking him out of the discussion.
Tampa Bay's discussion with McGuire doesn’t mean the television analyst for NBC and TSN is on a short list or about to be hired. In fact, with the Lightning so tight-lipped, it is difficult to quantify how serious any of its discussions have been. It does mean, though, the team seems to be talking to, and listening to, as many people as possible before making decisions.
That said, Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton has been here-and-there rumored a candidate for the GM job, though Fenton told the Tennessean newspaper he has not been in touch with anyone at the Lightning. There also were rumblings Dana Warg, president of Olympia Entertainment in Detroit, who has booking and operations responsibility for Joe Louis Arena, could be part of the Lightning’s CEO search. But Warg on Monday told the Times he has not been contacted by anyone with Tampa Bay.
So, for now, that brings us back to McGuire, 48, who has spent the past 13 years as a radio and television analyst but won Stanley Cups, in 1991 and ’92 as a scout and assistant coach with the Penguins. From 1992-94, he was an assistant coach, assistant general manager and then coach of the old Whalers. From 1994-96, McGuire was a pro scout and assistant coach for the Senators. McGuire also interviewed last year for the Wild GM job. Helping in that search was Jac Sperling, now a former Wild alternate governor who is heading Tampa Bay’s GM and CEO searches.
So, let's take stock:
It is believed Red Wings vice president Steve Yzerman is in the mix for the GM job, though he has not commented publicly. Former Wild and Flames GM Doug Risebrough already has stated his interest.
As for the CEO job, former Senators CEO Roy Mlakar has expressed interest. Tod Lieweke, CEO of the NFL’s Seahawks, has said he is not a candidate, though his name keeps popping up. Former Lightning chief operating officer Sean Henry and former Lightning president Ron Campbell also could be considered.