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Guerin weighing options for second career

Wednesday, 12.08.2010 / 9:33 AM / NHL Insider

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Guerin weighing options for second career
Bill Guerin just retired as a hockey player, but all that has done is open a world of options for him, from TV to hockey operations to being a full-time dad
Bill Guerin is at a crossroads for the first time since he was old enough to cut the ice with his skate blades and hold a stick in his hands.

"For my whole life I knew what I was going to do -- I was going to play, and now that is not going to be the case any more," Guerin, 40, told NHL.com Tuesday, one day after announcing his retirement after 18 successful NHL seasons. "I guess I am zeroed in on one industry, though, so that's good. I don't know. It's definitely different."

Different, yet fascinating.

Guerin isn't slumming it. He's got at a plethora of options, but it's up to him to choose his next path.

Does he want to do TV work? Does he want to work in hockey operations? Does he simply want to be a stay-at-home dad?

For the time being he's choosing Door No. 3. Guerin owes that much to his wife, Kara, and their four children.

"I want to stay in the game, but No. 1 right now is I'm going to spend some time with my family. My wife and kids, when you're in the middle of the grind you don't realize how much time you miss at home. So right now they're No. 1 and then I will be involved in the game in some way, shape or form in the future." -- Bill Guerin

"I want to stay in the game, but No. 1 right now is I'm going to spend some time with my family," said Guerin, who lives on Long Island after spending two seasons with the New York Islanders. "My wife and kids, when you're in the middle of the grind you don't realize how much time you miss at home. So right now they're No. 1 and then I will be involved in the game in some way, shape or form in the future."

While Guerin coaches his son's hockey games and helps Kara "play taxi service for all of our kids' activities," he'll be thinking about his future in hockey.

It's going to take him some time to come up with a career.

"There are lots of directions to go, whether it is coaching or trying TV, you try player personnel, whatever you want to do," Penguins GM Ray Shero told NHL.com. "There's no rush to do anything."

Guerin already is working as a part-time analyst for Versus and the MSG Network in the New York tri-state area. He's having a blast doing it, but admits it's difficult when he knows he has to be critical of certain players or teams.

"You have to be somewhat critical at times, but you really don't want to," he said. "So you have to fight against yourself. You see a guy making a mistake on TV and that's a friend of yours. You know that people want to hear about why he made that mistake or what happened here and you want to put it as softly as possible, but that's not what people want to hear. They want to hear the truth. They want to hear what happened.

"You have to be critical of a team's play and of certain things guys do on the ice, but I know how hard it is."

Guerin also is dabbling in a behind-the-scenes role with the Penguins. He's traveled with, Pittsburgh Assistant to the General Manager Tom Fitzgerald on a few scouting trips to learn that side of the business.

He's found that side of the business -- be it talking with college hockey players who are hoping to get a chance to turn pro or American Hockey League players stamping their time card every day, clinging to the dream that one day they'll get the call from Shero -- to be much easier than analyzing an NHL game on any TV broadcast.

"I think right now that is easier because a couple of months ago I was going through the same thing," Guerin said. "People always say he forgot what it's like, but that takes time, too. I haven't forgotten. I'm not that far removed from the game so I can definitely help guys with situations they're in because chances are I've been in them.

Guerin has sat beside Fitzgerald to scout an NHL game and select college games that included potential free-agent prospects or Pittsburgh draft picks. He's also visited the team's AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and went on a bus trip with the Baby Penguins south on Route 81 to Hershey.

"It was fun," Guerin said of the bus trip. "It brought me back about 18 years from when I played in Utica (AHL). Those are a lot of nice memories, and it was fun. You see these young guys trying to make the next step and doing what they can. It's a hard life, but it's all about making those guys better."

In the process Guerin is trying to make himself better. He's not sure what he's going to do with the rest of his life, but he wants to be prepared for whatever decision he ultimately makes.

"I'll keep trying things and I'll keep trying to narrow it down to what I want to do," he said. "Maybe it is a TV thing or maybe it is scouting or development. I don't know. It's different. It's different, but it's fun."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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