Friday, May 30, 2008


Barry Melrose is Back in the Saddle

I don't get American ESPN up here in Vancouver, so I rarely get to experience the 'experience' that is "The Mullet" Barry Melrose.

He seems to be a popular figure among American hockey fans, although I don't know if it is just the hair, rather than his hockey knowledge.

I figured doing TV was a comfortable gig, and that Melrose had been out of the game so long he'd never be an NHL head coach again.

Yet, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have a thin team that even Scotty Bowman couldn't do much with, hired Mullet Man to be their head coach.



The Toronto Star reports that ESPN hockey analyst and former Los Angeles Kings head coach Barry Melrose is set to return behind the bench for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Melrose, who coached the Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final, would replace John Tortorella, who still holds the post.

According to the Star, incoming team owner Oren Koules has pushed for the hiring of Melrose in an effort to further sell the team and the sport in Florida. His group is awaiting approval from the NHL's Board Of Governors to take over the team, with the vote set to take place on June 18.

What sells hockey tickets? WINS!!! Even if Melrose a minor celeb in hockey circles, how will his hiring help sell tickets for a team that is obviously short on depth, defence, and goaltending?

Now, I shouldn't rag on Melrose too much, although I wonder if he's way too stale at this point.

Melrose had a good track record of success as a head coach, including taking the LA Kings to the Cup Finals in 1993, a Memorial Cup in his first year of CHL coaching, and an AHL Calder Cup in his third year of AHL coaching.

Some Melrose Facts, per Wikipedia.

  • Melrose is cousin to former NHL players Wendel Clark and Joe Kocur.

  • Melrose guest starred in a season 5 episode of the ABC sitcom Spin City ("Hey Judith," January 17th, 2001).

  • In the video game Mutant League Hockey, Melrose is portrayed as Coach Smellnose. (haha!)

  • He was in a scene of the second Slapshot movie Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice

  • Had a small role in movie Mystery Alaska with Russell Crowe.

  • An NHL blog (unaffiliated with Melrose) entitled "Barry Melrose Rocks" bears his name as a tribute. (hmm, who could that be?)
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    Don't forget the greatest sin of all: his appearance in those dreadful Tony Robbins infomercials...
    And here's another fun fact:

    Tampa is currently 8th in the League in attendance.

    Somehow, I don't think that "selling the sport" is a huge issue in T-Bay.
    Melrose is an idiot, who changes his tune about teams and players faster than a speeding mullet. He'll be a terrible coach in TB. I don't know anyone who thinks he's a knowledgeable hockey-mind.
    1) When was Fonzie fired? Doesn't one need to fire their coach BEFORE hiring a replacement?
    2) That said, it doesn't who coaches this team, they're not winning another Cup for a while. The Lecavalier trade rumors(to Montreal of course) will be what makes most of the headlines in Tb this season
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