I have never had much issue with Pierre McGuire before. Even though the NBC hockey analyst who broadcasts between the benches can be over talkative and strange at times, I’ve usually found his reporting entertaining. He provides interesting bits and pieces on what’s going on with each bench. That along with some of the banter between players makes his job worthwhile.
However, McGuire went over the edge during last night’s telecast between the Lightning and Penguins in Pittsburgh. Prior to the game, he had USA Olympic champion Kendall Coyne Schofield with him to give a quick preview of the game. A five-time gold medalist at the World Championships who knows the game quite well, she was a guest analyst following her cool participation in the All-Star Skills Fastest Skater this past weekend in San Jose.
That should’ve been the focus on NBCSN. Instead, we got this disturbingly awkward conversation between McGuire and Coyne, who handled it with total class.
Even if McGuire was joking with his weird sense of humor about her being there to provide analysis instead of saying, “not a fan,” he didn’t have to insult her intelligence along with the viewers by telling Coyne where the Tampa bench was. It came off in poor taste.
This is exactly the kind of controversial thing that broadcasters should stay away from. More women are getting opportunities to provide input on games such as the Penguins’ 4-2 home win over the Lightning. Cammi Granato is a fixture on TSN. We’ve seen plenty of successful female sports broadcasters fare well in the industry. Whether it’s Deb Placey, Shannon Hogan, or Amanda Borges, they’ve been true professionals. Borges now does work for Yahoo Sports on The Spin while Placey co-hosts NHL Live with E.J. Hradek on NHL Network and provides work for NHL.Com.
What gets lost in McGuire insulting Coyne is that if you paid close attention to her insight, it was right on. She told Pierre:
“I’m excited to see Tampa’s start. They’ve been off for 10 days, haven’t had a game. Pittsburgh on the other hand had a tough loss on Monday. Got a little blown out of the water by the New Jersey Devils. So, I’m excited to see the start tonight.”
Coyne nailed it. The Lightning got scored on three times in the first 8:21 including consecutive Penguins goals from Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby 16 seconds apart to make it 3-0. Pittsburgh prevailed 4-2 over Tampa Bay.
A great job out of Coyne, who came off as the true winner she is. McGuire, not so much.