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Joseph Robin The Hockey Writers

Published on Friday, May 29, 2015





Pierre McGuire in Uncharted Territory for Game 7

As the Fratellis serenaded the United Center for the sixth and final time Wednesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks skated off the ice, satisfied with their 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The big win sets the stage for a winner-takes-all game 7 on Saturday night back in the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

In the post game interview with Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith, NBC analyst Pierre McGuire finished things off with, “We’ll see you for game 7 Saturday night.”

He wasn’t wrong. The two will likely see each other. Because according to (a website that tracks the announcers for sporting events), Pierre is slotted to be the analyst for game 7 in Anaheim.

And, somehow, this will be the first time Pierre works in the Honda Center in almost 8 years.

Inside the Glass

(Icon SMI)

(Icon SMI)

Standard hockey rinks usually have some space between team benches, set up by a  pane of glass at the end of each bench. As you can see in the picture on the right, this space makes for an ideal alcove for photographers or cameramen to capture game footage and other neat stuff.

In 2006, a man by the name of Pierre McGuire joined the crew at NBC and created a new type of analyst that would forever change the way hockey was presented to the audience. The “Inside the Glass” role became Pierre’s to grow and develop and this position has made him the icon that he is today. He soaks in the action from ice-level and relays the things that he sees to the viewer back home. It’s something that revolutionized the broadcasting of a hockey game.

Sure, Pierre isn’t the most well-liked NBC personality out there. Whether it’s his annoying insistence on telling us the history of where every NHL player has played junior hockey, or his pointless, uninformative interviews with coaches during the period, or his overall creepiness, fans (and sometimes players) would rather be without the eccentric analyst.

But Pierre is a complete workhorse. He’s basically been in a different city every night broadcasting games for the past month. He’s passionate about hockey and you can hear him rattling off players’ Junior hockey teams on any given night during the regular season.

So how is it that a man who broadcasts hundreds of games in a calendar year hasn’t worked a game in the Honda Center once since game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final? The man who’s been all over the US and Canada each and every year since 2006 has somehow avoided Anaheim. It’s bizarre.

Since the 2006-2007 NHL season, Anaheim has had over 15 regular season games broadcast on either NBC, NBC Sports Network, or Versus and thirty playoff games that were also broadcasted nationally. Pierre hasn’t been Inside the Glass for any of them.

What’s Anaheim’s secret?

The Honda Center’s Pierre-Repellant

For starters, this isn’t all that out of the ordinary. NBC’s A team (Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire) usually handle the eastern conference games (especially in the playoffs) while NBC’s B team (Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti Brian Engblom) handle the western conference games.

But there must be another reason for this excommunication from Anaheim.

Perhaps the reason is that Anaheim simply cannot host a Pierre McGuire game.

You see, for whatever reason, Anaheim’s benches are separated by a single pane of glass. There’s not even any wiggle room, like there is in Colorado. Heck, even Detroit was able to create a little space for the man.

In Anaheim, however, the single stanchion is in line with centre ice and that’s just the way the rink is set up. I’m curious to see how NBC accommodates Pierre in this difficult situation. Will he be standing up on the bench behind the players (like he does with a similar situation in Long Island)? Will he be sitting up on the glass, a la Kari Lehtonen? Will they quickly renovate the arena to create the space necessary for him in this big game 7?

Whatever they do, I’m sure Pierre will do what he always does; he’ll go and have some fun out there.


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