Classy move by the NHL at the start of the fitness testing portion of its scouting combine Friday with a tribute to former Central Scouting Service E.J. McGuire, the first coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
McGuire died in April from a rare form of cancer. Jim Gregory, a former general manager and senior NHL hockey operations member, opened with moving remarks about his close friend. Gregory’s comments were followed by a video homage to McGuire and his work in the hockey community.
McGuire was a longtime assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks (under coach Mike Keenan) and also coached the Wolf Pack and Maine Mariners in the AHL and the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm.
As Mariners coach in the 1991-92 season, McGuire oversaw Bruins players and prospects, including current broadcasters and analysts Andy Brickley, Bob Beers and Barry Pederson. He coached the Wolf Pack in 1997-98 and 1998-99 before John Paddock took over and led the team to its only Calder Cup title.
I didn’t cover the Wolf Pack while E.J. was coach, but he was always quite personable and informative when we chatted when he returned to the then Hartford Civic Center. He was a terrific guy and is sorely missed.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Andy Brickley, Barry Pederson, Central Scouting Service, Chicago Blackhawks, EJ McGuire, Hartford Civic Center, Hartford Wolf Pack, Jim Gregory, John Paddock, Maine Mariners, Mike Keenan, National Hockey League, NHL, OHL, Philadelphia Flyers
We only had a few opportunities to speak with E.J. McGuire. Sure we could have written something that would have sounded either totally disconnected and written like some heartless obituary. Instead we decided to speak to a few of the people who knew him best and get their thoughts on the loss of not only the Hartford Wolf Pack’s first coach, but their friend and colleague.
After reading this story, we hope you’ll share your recollections of this truly fine person.
We’ll start with Gerry Cantelon who has been covering hockey in the state of Connecticut for the Associated Press and Waterbury Republican-American, Elm City Citizen Newspapers and Hat Trick magazine, plus numerous independent hockey publications and websites for more years than any of us care to remember. He has covered the Hartford Wolf Pack, and later the Connecticut Whale from day one and of all of the reporters around knew McGuire best.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, Hartford Whalers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged AHL, Associated Press, Calder Cup, Connecticut Whale, E.J. McGuire, EJ McGuire, Hartford Courant, Hartford Whalers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, Johan Witehall, Marc Savard, National Hockey League, NHL, Ottawa, Sports, Wayne Gretzky