NHL commentator Pierre McGuire came under fire for his “cringeworthy” interactions with Olympic women's hockey gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield, who was working as an analyst during Wednesday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Coyne Schofield, 26, joined McGuire for NBC Sports Network’s “Wednesday Night Hockey” pregame coverage, and during the broadcast, McGuire, 57, appeared to attempt to coach Coyne Schofield.
“So Tampa’s going to be on your left, Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right,” McGuire pointed out. “What are you expecting out of this game? We’re paying you to be an analyst, not to be a fan tonight!”
Coyne Schofield, of course, is a professional ice hockey player who plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the National Women’s Hockey League — aside from helping to nab that gold medal for the U.S. last February. She also studied communications at Northeastern University.
She replied to McGuire that she was “excited to the start tonight.”
He also came under fire later for another comment he made to Coyne Schofield.
The analysts were talking about the game becoming intense, likening it to the U.S.-Canada game during the 2018 Olympics.
“Except I had a cage on for that one,” she replied.
“I’ll be your cage tonight, how’s that?” McGuire replied.
Social media users were quick to point out the interactions and slammed McGuire for appearing to undermine Coyne Schofield’s hockey skills.
“I’ve become immune to Pierre McGuire’s goofiness over the years. But treating an Olympic winner and accomplished hockey veteran like she’s a fan who won a contest is downright wrong and insulting,” one user tweeted.
“He might as well have continued to tell her ‘this sport is called hockey … this is called a puck,” another tweet read.
On Thursday, Coyne Schofield tweeted that she had a great time working as an analyst on Wednesday night.
“What an unforgettable night to cap off this incredible week,” she wrote. “Thank you NBC Sports for the opportunity to be an analyst on [Wednesday Night Hockey] alongside the best linemates in the business. I had SO much fun! I’m so excited to continue to learn & grow in this role! Thanks for all the support!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.