The real story behind the Pierre McGuire firing!

I’ve been in contact with multiple people about Pierre McGuire’s termination during the last two weeks. These resources are available at both the league and organizational levels. As many of you are aware, I do not post anything substantive about the Ottawa Senators until it has been verified by at least two sources. Naturally, getting more than two sources to validate what I’m hearing adds credibility to my narrative, which is what I was able to achieve with this post.

When McGuire was hired on July 12, 2021, details regarding how the hiring was handled began to emerge. Many in the local media assumed that McGuire’s hiring was a league decision, although that was not the case. McGuire indicated that he had been speaking with Mr. Melnyk for a week before Sens GM Pierre Dorion was ever made aware of the conversations. He indicated at the time that when Dorion was notified he would be employed, only McGuire and Mr. Melnyk knew inside the company that this was happening; Dorion was not aware of this. When Dorion found out, he went over to McGuire’s house in stealth.

Many people are unaware that when McGuire was still an analyst at NBC Sports, he understood that with the news of ESPN and TNT taking over the TV rights in the United States beginning in the 2021-22 season, he would not be moving to either network. McGuire reached out to Dorion during the Eastern Conference Finals to see if there was a role for him on the Sens management staff, knowing how weak Ottawa was in that area. It’s no secret in NHL circles that the Sens’ hockey operations staff is incredibly tiny, and Dorion is frequently overburdened.

This is when things took an unusual turn, as McGuire went out to a few close hockey confidants in order to approach Mr. Melnyk directly. He was successful, and I was told Mr. Melnyk was not pleased with Dorion’s actions in blowing off McGuire in this manner, as he had questioned player development with some prospects on how they were handled over the years, as well as making poor decisions with numerous trades and free-agent signings.

That’s when the plan of action began, with the probable employment of McGuire, but he was informed that no one, not even McGuire’s wife, could be notified they were conversing! Mr. Melnyk wanted to speak with McGuire in depth about the team’s direction and strategy since he was weary of the DJ Smith and Dorion show and how neither was held responsible to his standards. Melnyk has long wondered how Dorion listened to his head coach much too much on personnel choices that never worked out.

A week of discussions between McGuire and Melnyk revealed that hiring McGuire was exactly what the doctor ordered. McGuire assured Melnyk that he would be the organization’s “unbiased eye,” and that his NHL network was significantly broader than Dorion’s. Dorion agreed to meet with McGuire at his Tremblant house after Melnyk informed him that he had been hired and that the announcement would be made after the weekend. Dorion was furious because McGuire went over his back to get back into NHL management, which was where he wanted to be when NBC Sports lost the NHL television rights in the United States.

When McGuire was hired, both Pierres understood they had to make this partnership work, and they both said all the right things. When he was named senior vice president of player development, it was suggested that he would not only help scout the pro and amateur categories, but would also be out front selling the message to Ottawa fans. “There’s no doubt, it’s part of the position, and it’s something Mr. Melnyk talked about when we met, maybe the first two or three times in phone discussions,” McGuire stated on July 12, 2021, during his Zoom appearance.

According to my sources, Dorion’s hatred for McGuire was evident from the start. According to sources, Dorion was quite immature at times and made envious remarks about McGuire over little matters. Dorion didn’t appreciate how McGuire invited everyone to his house for a barbecue shortly after being hired in order to get to know the coaching staff and senior management team.

Dorion knew he had to silence McGuire after numerous media members got to know him better than the Sens GM, which irritated him so much that he went to Melnyk at the end of August 2021 and told him that if he didn’t get a contract extension, he would make things difficult for everyone involved because he was in the final year of his current contract. There are a few additional events that occurred prior to this circumstance that I have yet to be granted permission to write about, but whenever I do in the next weeks/months, I will be sure to write another article about it.

Dorion was permitted by the organization to pay McGuire to leave for his own advantage. I was informed he made around $500,000 each year. Instead of investing that money in employing more scouts or expanding their analytics department, they are now paying a million dollars for nothing over the next two years! It’s evident that Dorion isn’t truly committed to make this club great; otherwise, he wouldn’t have put his ego ahead of the company by paying McGuire to go. It would have been wiser to terminate DJ Smith and his $775k compensation for another two years to strengthen a coaching staff that has consistently failed this team.

Finally, to demonstrate to this crowd how petty Dorion is, I advise you to listen to the most recent Wally and Methot podcast, titled Season Ending Edition. Some Sens supporters would argue that I am being critical of the GM and head coach, but both of these individuals bring it on themselves. I would want to be able to talk about a club that is properly coached and managed, but that is not the situation in Ottawa. So, if you listen to the first 20 minutes of the podcast, you’ll hear how, a few years back, Dorion contacted the three TSN insiders Lebrun, Dreger, and McKenzie, indicating he didn’t appreciate Brent Wallace asking him questions about Erik Karlsson.

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