Should the Canadiens hire Pierre McGuire as GM?…Behind the scenes at the NHL All-Star game…The Avalanche’s second half frustration under coach Joe Sacco…Defending Semyon Varlamov….The acquisition of Ryan Smyth may have hurt Magnus Paajarvi’s development…Four worst moves an NHL GM could make…The Capitals aren’t improving…Erik Karlsson’s value…Ken Dryden talks about his landmark hockey book, “The Game”…A Habs blogger moves on…Five NHL teams which make Justin Bourne want to flip the channel…Brian Burke vs Don Cherry.

HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE: The pros and cons of the Canadiens hiring Pierre McGuire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some believe McGuire, a former NHL coach and assistant GM who’s now a n0table hockey analyst, would be a good fit as Canadiens GM. I wholeheartedly disagree. Nothing against McGuire personally, and I believe he’s a shrewd, if occasionally over-excited, analyst, but he’s also nearly 20 years removed from management, and things have considerably changed in the NHL since he worked in a front office. It’s one thing to be a savvy hockey analyst, but another to translate that skill into management, or for that matter, as a head coach, as the Tampa Bay Lightning discovered with their ill-fated hire of ESPN analyst Barry Melrose several years ago. One of the reasons Don Cherry, NHL coach of the year in 1976, isn’t mentioned as a possible candidate for head coach for any teams today is he’s been out of the pro coaching ranks for over 30 years.  If the Habs pursue a new GM, it must be someone who’s either currently involved in management (like Tampa Bay’s Julien Brisebois) or someone who hasn’t been out of the management loop for very long. That also rules out bringing back former Habs GM Serge Savard, who hasn’t been involved in pro hockey in a management capacity since 1995.

HOCKEY TRACKER: Behind the scenes at the 2012 NHL All-Star weekend.

THOUGHTS FROM THE MAN CAVE: The Colorado Avalanche’s second half frustrations under coach Joe Sacco.

Varlamov has struggled, but has time to develop.

MILE HIGH HOCKEY: Defending Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, who’s having a rough season in Colorado, but at 23 still has plenty of time for improvement.

PUCK THE MEDIA: Five unsolicited suggestions for NBC to improve their hockey coverage. Holding a trade deadline special, and covering games in Spanish, are two very good suggestions.

THE COPPER & BLUE: Bringing back Ryan Smyth may have stunted the development of Magnus Paajarvi

CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG: The four worst moves an NHL GM could make this season. Trading P.K. Subban is one of them.

RED LIGHT DISTRICT HOCKEY BLOG: The Washington Capitals may be in trouble, as they’ve shown no noticeable improvement under head coach Dale Hunter.

SENS SHOT: Erik Karlsson is in line to become very, very wealthy after this season.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Ken Dryden will appear on CBC Radio tonight at 7 pm ET to discuss his landmark hockey book, “The Game.” It’s still the best book ever written about the sport.

A THEORY OF ICE: The insightful Ellen Etchingham has moved on to Backhand Shelf. Check out her work, she’s one of the most intelligent hockey bloggers around.

BACKHAND SHELF: Justin Bourne presents his five teams which make him want to change the channel. I feel the same about the Canadiens, though as a Habs fan, that’s only because I’m disgusted with their performance this season…

PUCK DADDY: Brian Burke and Don Cherry are feuding. Clash of the Bloated Egos!

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One Response to NHL Blog Beat – February 2, 2012.

  1. Casey says:

    Thank God someone is being rational about this. A McGuire hire would be a disaster. And truthfully, I find the Patrick Roy love for coach almost as ridiculous, but less so than McGuire. Does anyone not find it odd that his TSN buddies are mute about McGuire for GM? They don’t want to say the idea is ludicrous, but if they raise it at all they can’t pretend it’s a reasonable idea.

    Jim Nill or Julien Brisebois are my picks for GM. And truthfully, as much as I wanted Cunneyworth to rise above it, I think we need a clean slate before draft day.

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