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McGuire thrilled to join Sens

by Matt Tidcombe @matttidcombe

After more than 20 years as an NHL broadcaster, Pierre McGuire is thrilled to swap the microphone for a notepad with the Ottawa Senators.

McGuire, who was appointed senior vice president of player development Monday, re-joins the Sens itching to get back to the daily grind of life in the NHL.

"I'm looking forward to the everyday ups and downs of the National Hockey League," McGuire said. "It's something that I've missed significantly."

The 59-year-old had been with NBC since 2006 and with the network not securing a deal for U.S. television rights for 2021-22 and beyond, now was the perfect time for McGuire to foray back into the front office.

"It's something I've been looking forward to in joining this family for a long time," McGuire said of returning to Ottawa. "I think more than anything else I've always really been drawn towards Ottawa with the people there, the community, the hockey passion that the people have.

"It means a lot to me to have this opportunity so I'm really excited about it."

Talks of McGuire joining the Sens began to heat up recently and now as a key member of the team's front office, he will work closely with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and team owner Eugene Melnyk as the team continues to develop into a Stanley Cup contender.

"When Pierre came up to me, it was a no-brainer to bring someone of his experience and his knowledge into our management group and we felt it would be a great addition," Dorion said. "Pierre brings a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge so I think he's going to be involved in a lot of things in our hockey department.

"Having worked in TV over the last number of years, having watched a number of NHL games, he's definitely going to have a lot of input with player movement and player transactions but at the same time he's done some scouting, he's been at a lot of World Juniors, seen a lot of college hockey over the last few years so I think he can have an input there also."

McGuire, who was previously a scout and an assistant coach with the Sens in the mid 1990s, heaped praise on Dorion, Sens head coach D.J. Smith as well as Belleville head coach Troy Mann and his brother, Trent, the Sens' chief amateur scout, for the work they've done in recent years.

"They should be so proud of the work they've done," McGuire said. "They've done phenomenal work. It blows me away how complete their scouting has been.

"Their amateur scouting has been phenomenal, the development that has gone on in Belleville has been off the charts good and I love what D.J has done along with Davis and Jack and obviously more recently, Zac Bierk, at the NHL level. I think the talent pool is very high in Ottawa. There still has to be some more internal development and I think that is coming but the future is so bright."

Dorion and McGuire met for four hours Sunday in Mont-Tremblant before the deal was announced Monday morning with the latter being unable to hide his excitement about his new role in the nation's capital.

And that feeling is mutual with Dorion.

"His knowledge and experience in the hockey world will definitely be beneficial and positive for our organization," Dorion said. "I think it helps us in taking the next step and he will be a valuable asset and someone we can all bounce ideas off whether it's the scouts, the coaches [or] management group.

"I think he's going to be a really important part here."

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