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Pierre McGuire, amid GM rumors, has spoken with Pens management

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Pierre McGuire has been busy on the TV side of things. (Getty Images)
Pierre McGuire has been busy on the TV side of things. (Getty Images)

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The longer the offseason goes along, the longer the rumblings of Pierre McGuire leaving the NBC broadcasts to be the Pittsburgh Penguins next general manager persist.

Over the past few years, McGuire has been mentioned as a candidate for some openings, most notably in Montreal before Marc Bergevin was hired. No matter how you feel about him and his work on TV, there's no denying McGuire is a walking encyclopedia of hockey knowledge which certainly wouldn't hurt his credentials.

However the idea of a man who hasn't been involved in NHL operations since a failed attempt as the Hartford Whalers' head coach -- that tells you how long ago it was -- has always seemed a bit of a stretch, especially after McGuire shot down the rumors a few weeks ago, saying he had too much respect for former GM Ray Shero.

Apparently something has changed as McGuire confirmed on Tuesday morning that he in fact is a candidate and has been in contact with the Penguins.

And Pierre kept talking about it. He addressed the speculation later on Tuesda in an NBC conference call for the upcoming Stanley Cup Final.

"I met with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I talked with the Pittsburgh Penguins. So have a lot of other people," McGuire explained. "It's a long list. It's an attractive job. There are a lot of people who would like to have that job,"

Let the panic in Pittsburgh begin ...

Before Pens fans step onto the Roberto Clemente Bridge, it seems odd that McGuire would be talking about this all so much. It would seem to indicate perhaps he knows he's on the losing end here or at least you'd have to think the Penguins aren't likely too pleased to see him sharing the process.

There is one big tie that is possibly giving McGuire a bit more traction with the Penguins; he was an assistant coach with the Penguins when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups in the early 1990s with now Penguins owner Mario Lemieux.

If the Penguins did elect to go with McGuire to be the next GM, he'd have to use his vast knowledge right away to make a few big decisions, starting with coach "Danny" Bylsma. He's hanging on a string right now, waiting for the next GM. After that, this summer promises to be very busy as the Penguins only have 14 players under contract at the NHL level for next season according to Cap Geek.

It remains really hard to imagine the Penguins, who are still in the height of their competitive era with their superstars, would go with somebody as unproven as McGuire to run the show but the likelihood only seems to be going up.

Go have some fun out there, Pittsburgh.

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