Nick Kypreos tells a funny story about his time as a player for coach Pierre McGuire

Published June 4, 2021 at 11:29

Pierre McGuire is a name that most hockey fans are familiar with, whether they like him or not. Since the late 1990s, he's been a regular on hockey broadcasts. McGuire is noted for his odd statistics about hockey players, as well as his occasionally awkward on-air delivery and chats. McGuire had previously worked as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as an assistant general manager and assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers, and as a scout for the Ottawa Senators.

For 67 games during the regular season in 1993-94, McGuire served as Hartford's head coach after the sudden departure of Paul Holmgren. According to Nick Kypreos, McGuire was every bit as awkward as a coach as he is as a broadcaster.

According to Kypreos, the Whalers were taking on the Montreal Canadiens and were down 4-0 after two periods. During the second intermission, McGuire told his players he had a plan.

"He goes, 'we're going to go out there in the third period and we're going to score a goal every five minutes'," said Kypreos. "'And then we're going to win it in overtime'."

Great plan. I can't imagine any other coaches had ever thought of that. Anyway, Kypreos went on to say that in the first couple of minutes of the third, Hartford would finally get on the board with a goal.

"And Pierre is so excited now. He's running up and down the bench going 'Way to go boys, we're way ahead of schedule'," said Kypreos.

"And I go, 'do you want us to rag the puck, get us back on schedule? You want me to kill the clock a bit to get us back on schedule?'"

Kypreos said the players had a good chuckle over that one after the game. He never said if the Whalers managed to come back. McGuire's record that season was 27-37-7, so probably not. McGuire was fired as head coach on May 19, 1994. After the termination, Hartford captain Pat Verbeek called it the best thing that could have happened to the Whalers. He said his teammates had no respect for McGuire and that McGuire was mocked by other teams.

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