In defense of Pierre McGuire

The Athletic reported that Brian Boucher will replace McGuire on NBC Sports' lead NHL announcing team
Pierre McGuire (left) and Brian Boucher.
Pierre McGuire (left) and Brian Boucher.

I have always liked NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire. I thought he has done a fine job with his Inside the Glass segments. And he has been generous to me, from writing me a nice note thanking for an article I wrote about him, to making appearances on my old “Slap Schotts Hockey Segment” on FOX Sports 980.

But there are a majority of hockey fans who not only can’t stand McGuire, they despise him. He’s one of social media’s favorite whipping boys. I’ve never understood it.

Well, the haters were out in full force Wednesday when The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello reported that McGuire was being removed from NBC Sports’ No. 1 hockey team, which includes play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Brian Boucher was taking over. An NBC spokesman said,  “Identical to last year, we will begin the season with Doc, Eddie and Brian working the early “Wednesday Night Hockey” game, with Pierre anchoring the late game of the doubleheader.”.

The attacks and celebrations of the news was so vicious that I thought they were going to plan a victory parade.

To me, the attacks are unwarranted, and way over the line. A lot of the hate is directed at him for his supposedly being a homer, especially with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he served an assistant coach on their Stanley Cup championship teams in 1991 and 1992. I know many Philadelphia Flyers fans who can’t stand him for this alleged homerism.

But you people need to understand something: McGuire is not a homer. And you need to listen to the entire game. Your problem is you hear what you want to hear. You’re so damn busy complaining about something McGuire said that you missed one or two things he said complementing your team. 

And spoiler alert: National announcers ARE NOT BIASED! You people need to understand this, but it may be way above your comprehension skills to do so. If you want biased announcing, go listen to your hometown announcers. Most of them will tell you the sky is blue when, in fact, storm clouds are developing. 

Sure, McGuire can be a know-it-all at times, but I rather have someone like him than a reporter not knowing what they were talking about.

And if you know-it-all critics think you can do a better job than the people you are criticizing, pick up a microphone and get in front of the camera. Remember that you will be talking to millions of viewers, and they are hanging on your every word.

Wait, you look nervous. The sweat is making your TV makeup run down your face. You’re stumbling over your words. The pressure is getting to you. You drop the microphone. You’re wondering what people are saying about you on social media. You run off camera scared out of your wits.

The job isn’t an easy as you thought.

Maybe you should appreciate job people like McGuire do. But I doubt you will.

On Twitter, follow Associate Sports Editor Ken Schott @slapschotts and Daily Gazette Sports @dgazettesports. Email Schott at [email protected]. Listen to “The Parting Schotts Podcast” at

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