Breaking News: Barry Melrose is Going Back to ESPN

Thanks to Sean Leahy at Going Five Hole for directing us towards this story from Barry Horn at the Dallas Morning News Sports Media Blog.

Who knew we’d turn into hockey central today?

Looks like Barry Melrose, fired after 16 games in his return to coaching this season, is moving back to Bristol. I think this is breaking news. I don’t know because I seldom recognize it.

Melrose worked 12 years as an ESPN hockey analyst after coaching the Los Angeles Kings. The Tampa Bay Lightning thought so much of his work, it hired him to coach the team this season. That gig lasted about one-fifth of a season. Melrose’s new ESPN deal is for three years.

Does this mean the return of “Eh or Neigh?”  More thoughts on this tomorrow.

Where Does Barry Melrose Go Next?

Wyshynski has great analysis of the Barry Melrose/Ron MacLean piece you see above.  Melrose showed off – in about six minutes – why he is so much better when he’s talking to you on TV than to players in the locker room.  He’s as good an interview as he is an analyst, even when he’s going off in complete nonsense about how his offense top-heavy team wouldn’t, for some reason, willingly play a stifling defensive system.

The point being, Melrose is perhaps now the most desirable TV free agent in NHL history, at least until Jeremy Roenick hangs ’em up.  He was already one of hockey’s most recognizable figures before leaving to coach the Lightning.  He was the casual ESPN viewer’s guide to the league and, for better or worse, was who the non-puckhead associated with the sport for quite some time.  Now, with ESPN’s analyst position filled, he can go to a variety of places.  Let’s explore all the possibilities, and the likelihood of each.

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