When applying for any job, employers are always looking for the same types of qualities. Do you have experience? Will you be a good fit? Can you do the job?
With that in mind, we’ve pitted the 3 major candidates for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s General Manager’s position against one another. Both Steve Yzerman and Doug Risebrough have been rumored for weeks—but now we hear that Pierre McGuire has also interviewed. So who would be the best fit?
Steve Yzerman: Detroit Red Wings
Doug Risebrough: Ummm, this is awkward. He doesn’t exactly have one, per se.
Pierre McGuire: Mike Richards’ PR Department
Front Office Experience
Steve Yzerman: He’s currently the Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings while learning the ins and outs of the front office from GM Ken Holland. He also served as Executive Director (GM) of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics.
Doug Risebrough: He has been in the highest positions for the last 20 years. He has served as the GM of the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild—not to mention a 3-year stint Vice President of Hockey Operations in Edmonton.
Pierre McGuire: Despite his pompous tone and condescending opinions directed at teams and their decision-making, he’s never actually had a position in an NHL front office. Come to think of it, he hasn’t had a front office position at ANY LEVEL. No, being a scout doesn’t count.
Advantage: Not McGuire.
Steve Yzerman: Captain and Stanley Cup champion
Doug Risebrough: Captain and Stanley Cup finalist.
Pierre McGuire: See: “Doug Risebrough’s Current Employer”
Ability to Deal With Conflict
Steve Yzerman: Stevie Y’s idea of conflict in Detroit was, “Should I get next year’s ring sized a little bit bigger than last years?” When he was the GM, his idea of conflict was, “Should I select Drew Doughty or Mike Green?” Neither of those are the type of problems that he’d have to deal with in Tampa.
Doug Risebrough: He was a player, coach, and GM for the Flames. Then VP for the Oilers. Anyone who can switch sides in the Battle of Alberta must know what they’re doing.
Pierre McGuire: The man has had to deal with Mike Milbury. On national television, no less.
Steve Yzerman: As a player, Yzerman was known as one of the best captains of all time. The hope is that he would be able to transfer those undeniable leadership qualities from the ice to the press box.
Doug Risebrough: While in Minnesota, Risebrough helped an entire state buy into the idea of the neutral zone trap and convinced people that Marian Gaborik could be a cornerstone player.
Pierre McGuire: He has his own drinking game. Game, Set, Match.
Advantage: McGuire. Drinking Games will always win. Period.
Steve Yzerman: He went straight from Captain of the Wings to Vice President of the Wings. He did not pass GO, nor did he collect $200.
Doug Risebrough: Assistant coach of the Flames in the late 1990’s.
Pierre McGuire: Assistant coach with the Pens in the early 1990’s (which was immediately negated by half a season as head coach of the Whale)
Advantage: Risebrough, I guess. It’s not like we have any Scotty Bowman’s here.
Steve Yzerman: Yzerman oozes class and is respected by just about every person that he comes in contact with. Even people in Detroit who don’t know hockey know that he’s the man.
Doug Risebrough: Public persona? I just learned how to properly spell his name.
Pierre McGuire: He makes people throw things at their television sets. When he speaks, people wonder aloud if Mike Milbury actually knows more about hockey than someone else privileged to cover the sport.
Advantage: Yzerman. So much so, he should get 2 points for this one…
Steve Yzerman: He farms octopi.
Doug Risebrough: He gives all hockey fans in Minnesota nightmares.
Pierre McGuire: He travels with the circus so he can be with the rest of the creepy bald midgets. Why else would he be called “Clown Shoes?”
Advantage: Risebrough. GMs already give Lightning fans their fair share of nightmares.
Ability to Relocate
Steve Yzerman: He’s part of the fabric that makes Detroit what it is
Doug Risebrough: Did you read the thing about nightmares and Minnesotans? Yeah, relocation is definitely an option.
Pierre McGuire: As long as they have a little glass box, he can go where ever the Lightning would need him.
Advantage: McGuire. He could do a GM “Between the Glass” segment on NBC for Lightning games. You know, when they play against Ovechkin or Crosby.
After going through this brief exercise, a few things become crystal clear. Steve Yzerman has paid his dues and has the right personality to be a good NHL GM. He may or may not succeed, but he has definitely earned his shot.
Doug Risebrough is in the mix because he’s representing the old-guard retread that is always discussed when there’s an opening. Nothing personal, but it’s not like he had a sparkling track-record with the Wild; nor does he have any other qualities that make up for the fact that the Wild were never really that good.
And McGuire, after doing this exercise its obvious that he’s my #1 choice for the Lightning job. Sure Yzerman has potential and Risebrough has been there before. But I’m a fan of chaos and McGuire looks like he could be an unmitigated disaster. When I’m watching for entertainment purposes, trainwreck’s always keep my attention.