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NBC's McGuire Defends Game Four Reporting, Says Certain Info Is "Off Limits"


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NBC's Pierre McGuire yesterday declined to “go beyond what he shared with his TV audience" about the argument between Rangers coach John Tortorella and Devils coach Peter DeBoer during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. McGuire is located between the two benches during games, and he said of the argument between the coaches, “It was two guys venting, but never once did they challenge one another to a fight or say anything like, ‘I’ll get you down the road.’ Nothing ever that I thought was truly inappropriate.” He said that he "alone decides what to share about what he hears and is particularly careful about injury information.” McGuire added that neither NBC nor the league "ever has created rules for what he can report." McGuire: "For that, I’m appreciative.” Best notes McGuire's approach “has led to criticism.” However, McGuire, a former coach, said that his "privileged location and respect for the coaches and players had led him to keep some things off limits.” McGuire: “That’s part of why it’s worked for seven years and will work for a lot longer” (NEWSDAY, 5/23).

McGuire during Monday's game stayed silent for several seconds while the coaches were yelling, then said, "I hit the mute button ... so nobody would hear, but it had something to do with where both people came from” (“Rangers-Devils,” NBC Sports Network, 5/21). WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa yesterday asked, “Can you give us the tenor of the conversation?” McGuire: “Obviously, they weren't making dinner reservations, and basically you to have look at it this way: They both come from very different backgrounds. John Tortorella is an American that came through the U.S. college system. … Peter DeBoer is a Canadian kid from rural Ontario who came through the major junior hockey circuit. ... You can kind of tell where the conversation was going in terms of this and that back and forth” ("Francesa," WFAN-AM, 5/22).

TO REPORT OR NOT TO REPORT: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote on his Twitter feed of McGuire, "He's not serving viewers when he does not report what happens on the ice." However, SportsBusiness Journal's Christopher Botta wrote, "It's not like sideline reporters in the NFL and NCAAs report everything they see and hear" (TWITTER.com, 5/22). In Winnipeg, Kirk Penton writes, "He obviously can't say everything, but give us something. Otherwise, he might as well be up in the booth" (WINNIPEG SUN, 5/23). CBSSPORTS.com's Brian Stubits wrote even if McGuire was "willing to say what he heard, I can't imagine much of it would have been suitable for public airwaves." Stubits: "Something tells me they would have needed the dump button or would have faced an FCC fine" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/22).

TREATED WITH RESPECT: McGuire said of being located between the benches, "It's a privileged position and I’ve never taken advantage of the privilege of being down there.” WFAN's Francesa said McGuire is “treated differently than any sideline reporter I can think of because they treat you like an equal, these coaches." Francesa: "They give you stuff and they treat you like an equal out there. They treat you like a guy they have a lot of respect for, so you get good stuff out of them.” McGuire: “I take that as a badge of honor. I coached in the league for a long time. Most coaches that have worked in this league know where I started, how I got to where I got to” (“Francesa,” WFAN-AM, 5/22).

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This is one of the rare times I'll agree with Pierre. However, Tort's pressers are hilarious. He makes an a-ss of himself most of the time but they are entertaining. I think it reflects poorly on the orginazation from the stick boy to the owners and league but hey, WTF. Reporters can be terrible to deal with and ask stupid questions but don't hold a press conference if you don't want to answer questions. As far a Pierre hitting the mute button between the benches and not saying what he heard, kudo's....

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@idahophilly

"This is one of the rare times I'll agree with Pierre. However, Tort's pressers are hilarious. He makes an a-ss of himself most of the time but they are entertaining. I think it reflects poorly on the orginazation from the stick boy to the owners and league but hey, WTF. Reporters can be terrible to deal with and ask stupid questions but don't hold a press conference if you don't want to answer questions. As far a Pierre hitting the mute button between the benches and not saying what he heard, kudo's...."

I used to hate Torterella. I thought he was a wannabe (even after the ring which I felt was gifted). But over time I have come to appreciate his brand / style. Mostly because he is not stupid and quite smart. Does he have savvy no. But he has more smarm than even @ruxpin could muster.

I love Lavi as the coach for the Flyers. Yet I watched Torts in multiple games this year make in game changes that gave them the "W" (not only against the Flyers). I have to respect that and I have to respect a man that does not give a flying "F" what the status quo is or what others think.

Lastly, while he seems like the biggest pompous ass, his players love him because it is not about the name on the back, but the crest on the front. Though he is not in the same league as Herb Brooks or Scotty Bowman, he certainly is of the same ilk / cloth. He does it his way and his way only.

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@blocker

"I've changed my opinion of Torterella also. I think he's just as much of an ass as ever, but his players seem to tolerate him well."

Hi Blocker-

I guess the question is how long does that last. He certainly protects his players outwardly. I guess what I wonder is it a "keenan" type thing where it can only go 1-3 years max or can he have longevity with a single organization?

None the less, I have come to sort of admire his brand if for no other reason then he does it his way, hell be damned. I think Lavi does too, but Lavi has significantly more out facing polish. I put this on another thread yet I will repeat it here. I would like to see Lavi have more flexibility in making in game adjustments. You don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water, but you need to recognize what the opposition is doing and make adjustments real time. That is what impresses me with Torts. Maybe it is unfair, because they play a defense first oriented system and adjustments are easier in that style, but still.

Good to see you post here. Hope the grandkids are doing well.

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Hey Van.........

I've changed my opinion of Torterella also. I think he's just as much of an ass as ever, but his players seem to tolerate him well.

I actually think the Rangers might be sick of Fonzies antics. I know I am.

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