Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: barry melrose
From an Outside the Lines segment on ESPN…
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
How did we end up with Don Cherry and Barry Melrose as the respective oracles for hockey in Canada and the U.S.? ESPN thinks the sun sets on Melrose, but the former L.A. Kings coach has been warming up the same tired Cherry tribute act he’s peddled for 20 years. Down to the zoot suits. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. In a recent interview with Sports Media Watch, he was asked to compare himself to Cherry.
“Well, I’m a lot better looking and better dressed than Don Cherry. Gotta get that out there right away. But I would say so, yeah. If you look at the viewership for ESPN, non-hockey fans are watching SportsCenter. All of a sudden, this guy from Canada pops up, and they say, ‘this is the hockey guy.’ So I would definitely say that’s true. It’s something I take pride in, and something I work hard to cultivate, and something that I try to convey every night to people that aren’t hockey fans.
more plus some ratings talk, etc…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning are investigating legal grounds for withholding the remainder of Barry Melrose’s contract with the team.
Melrose’s assessment of rookie forward Steven Stamkos is the basis for the investigation.
“I am very, very excited about coming back home to ESPN, where I have had so many great years. I look forward to analyzing people being fired, rather than being the guy fired.”
—Barry Melrose via The Daily Gazette
In his return to the network, Melrose will be joining Matthew Barnaby.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
Melrose got fired because he didn’t know what he was doing.
He might think it was because his players didn’t like that he publically chastised them after the first two games of the season (in Europe no less) or that he resorted to his celebrated cold-shoulder approach when he walked out of the locker room and left them to practice on their own the day before a game just prior to his being dismissed, but that’s hardly the case.
He got fired because he didn’t do game-prep well, manage his players and bench effectively, and was regularly outcoached by opponents, many of whom knew what they were doing behind the bench and took advantage of the fact that Melrose did not have a clue.
“When people are staying away from you, and you see people talking together that don’t usually talk [then you know],” Melrose told Hockey Night In Canada. “I’ve been around a long time and have been through this before so I wasn’t caught by surprise by this.”...
Melrose believes some disgruntled players who were wary of his no-nonsense approach went to ownership and complained about his coaching style.
Melrose also criticized the club’s skaters for not supporting goaltender Olaf Kolzig offensively in his return to Washington, where he played for more than 15 years. The Lightning scored just twice in the Monday loss.
“I think the players didn’t want to play for me,” he said.” You don’t have to be Kreskin to figure that out. I demand players play hard and play with passion and courage.
more and you can watch the interview Ron MacLean did with Melrose earlier this evening.
added 9:25pm, The video can also be viewed below…
via Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning today fired coach Barry Melrose and named Rick Tocchet the head coach.
Update 4:37pm ET (Alanah): From Bolts Report—
Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Barry Melrose has been relieved of his duties and Associate Coach Rick Tocchet has been elevated to interim head coach, Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. Melrose, 52, was named the sixth head coach in Lightning history on June 24, and compiled a 5-7-4 record this season.
“This was a tough decision to make,” Lawton said. “Barry is a good man and we have a great deal of respect for him. We wish him nothing but success. However, the results were unacceptable and the players have to understand that we need to be better. Hopefully this change helps push them.
“As for Rick Tocchet, we think this is a great opportunity for him and we believe he’s the type of coach who can take the team to the next level. Our players have a great deal of respect for him.”
“Al (Strachan) is sort of like a spaghetti salesman. Al just throws so much against the wall and hopes something sticks. … It’s total lies.”
-Lightning coach Barry Merose on Al Strachan. More on the Lightning at the St. Petersburg Times…
“I’m going to give our skill guys a chance to get going, but it’s time for them to start doing the things we hoped they would do. ... It’s time for some guys in our lineup to start going. They’ve played four games now. If you’re a goal scorer and not scoring, what else are you giving our team? They have to decide. If you’re not scoring and everybody goes into a slump, you’ve got to help the team in other ways. It’s time for some of our stars to put the puck in the net and start helping us out all over the rink.”
-Barry Melrose this morning. More at Lightning Strkes…
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
Listening to Bob McKenzie this morning on Team 990 radio in “Montreal’s Morning Show,” it seems Coach Melrose could be a bit out of touch with the way the game is played today and he’s on the verge of losing his players.
We’ve heard the same thing from another well-connected source, who says Barry still thinks he’s coaching the 1993 Kings.
McKenzie recommended that Melrose rely more on his excellent coaching staff — Rick Tocchet, Wes Walz and Cap Raeder — who have not spent that last 12 years on TV but working in the N.H.L. and have more of a grasp about how the game is currently played.
from Brian Duff at the Hockey News,
Already I’ve heard Melrose make multiple references to how much guys are making. That could be a slippery slope down which to venture.
But hey, if Melrose can entertain the masses and pull the Lightning from worst to first in the division as his owners are expecting, he will have a shot at the Jack Adams award. Keep in mind, the coach of the year award is voted upon by the broadcasters, who tend to really appreciate good sound bites.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Still, there is a consistent belief in the hockey community that the decision to hire Melrose after a 13½-year absence from the coaching scene runs somewhere between risky and foolhardy.
“That’s a big question mark for them,” national hockey analyst and former NHL netminder Darren Eliot said recently.
Other hockey sources, including current NHL general managers, questioned Melrose’s ability to stay current on trends in penalty killing, power plays and defensive schemes.
One of the Lightning’s new owners, former NHLer Len Barrie, rolls his eyes at the oft-repeated questions surrounding the team’s coaching choice.
read on for more on Melrose, plus his history with his assistant coach Cap Raeder.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Melrose arrived in Tampa last week to get things lined up for the start of camp, but he took a few minutes to share some thoughts with the Tribune.
It’s obviously been a while since you’ve run a training camp. What are some of the things you have done to get ready for this?
Well, this isn’t brain surgery, as much as people want to make it brain surgery. It’s getting your group together, it’s organization, it’s running practice. A lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff has been done by Brian Lawton, and that’s by far the most difficult part of a camp. My job is taking care of them when they are here.
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Imagine if the ice in front of an NHL net were a place where the rules of the game were different. Players could hack and whack like the old days, before the league decided a tug on a jersey was obstruction. Lightning coach Barry Melrose can only hope….
How do you feel about the league’s long-term crackdown on fighting?
I think toughness is leaving our game, and I hope that people realize it’s wrong. I hate to mention this, but the fastest growing sport in the world is ultimate fighting. We’ve got that as part of our game. To act ashamed of that has been wrong of the NHL for a lot of years. You can say you don’t like fighting or you love fighting, but it creates conversation. It creates energy and excitement.
read on for more of the Q & A with Melrose…
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News,
SN: What was the reaction in Tampa from fans when you were hired?
Melrose: A lot of people there were still mad at me for 2004. Supposedly, I made derogatory remarks about Tampa Bay. If people remember you saying it, it doesn’t matter if you said it. That was fun. [...]
SN: So what did you supposedly say in 2004 that has fans in Tampa so riled up?
Melrose: That Tampa didn’t have a chance (in the Stanley Cup final), not nearly as good as Calgary. That was nuts—I picked Tampa Bay. I don’t know what was going on. If they think you said it, you said it.
From Brett McMurphy at The Tampa Tribune:
The way Barry Melrose sees it - make that saw it - nobody viewed more hockey than he did last season as an ESPN analyst.
“What I like is, no one has watched more hockey than me in the last year, the last five years,” Melrose said. “I’ve probably seen Tampa play 70 times last year and every team on the East Coast probably 70 times and the West Coast teams maybe 50.
“It’s the personnel. There’s not many players in the NHL I don’t have a read on - who I like, who I wouldn’t like. That’s probably the best thing about the NHL and what I know is the personnel.”
The new Lightning coach is the latest to transition from sitting in makeup to making out a lineup.
To former NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey, the charismatic and articulate [Barry] Melrose is the man who saved his playing career.
It was in the midst of that memorable ‘93 season that Melrose — named Tuesday as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning — rescued Hrudey from a two-month slump the netminder thought would spell the end of his professional career.
“It was my 10th year in the National Hockey League,” Hrudey, a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, told CBCSports.ca. “He did things that probably not a lot of people would have back then. It resurrected my career and got me back on track, and I ended up playing another five years.”
ESPN with a video tribute to Barry Melrose who worked at ESPN for 12 years.
Watch the video below…
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Tampa Bay Lightning has hired Barry Melrose as head coach; brace yourself, this could really get ugly.
And considering it’s the Lightning we’re talking about here, that’s saying something.
Apparently new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie felt it was a good idea to replace a Stanley Cup winning coach with a guy who not only hasn’t coached a game in the NHL for 13 years, but was one who had a mediocre .449 winning percentage in just three seasons of NHL experience in the first place.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
Barry Melrose has been named thesixth head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was announced by owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
“We are very pleased that Barry signed on to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Barrie and Koules said in a joint statement. “We believe Barry offers just what this team needs and it starts with his ability to get all 20 players pushing in the same direction and playing at 100 percent night-in, night out. We like his enthusiasm and passion for the game and we know the fans of Tampa Bay will take a liking to him.”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News:
I think comedian George Carlin is one of the great minds of our time. And one of my favorite bits of his centers around the needless softening/wimpification of language. That was on display again Tuesday, when the Tampa Bay Lightning sent out an e-mail announcing head coach (and preferred target of this space) John Tortorella “will not return” to the team.
I suppose it was just too hurtful to say the guy was dismissed. Perhaps the next franchise that fires a coach can do the Bolts one better and issue a press release that reads, “Coach X will be coaching the team next season (in spirit only).”
It’s funny that Proteau mentions this. When we first got the press release about the Tortorella story, it did make me pause for a moment.
From Erik Erlendsson at the Bolts Report:
This is also what I was able to surmise from conversations last night. Barry Melrose is not a done deal. No definitive offers have been made to anybody and the team is still talking to other candidates. And to clarify one other thing, no deal with Melrose, or anybody else for that matter, can be done anytime soon, and certainly not in the next couple of days. Oren Koules and his group were told by the executive board of the NHL the other day that the only issues that can be dealt with right now are those of a time sensitive manner. A head coach, is not a time sensitive matter. Nothing can be done until the board of governors meeting on June 17 in New York. So even if a deal was in place, it certainly couldn’t be announced.
Now my reaction to the Melrose news is the same as many of you guys. I’m not sold on a coach who has been behind a television camera the past 13 years, and not behind a bench. I also can’t believe that if this were to be true, that Melrose will command a $2 million annual salary - NHL coaches not named Scotty Bowman don’t make that kind of money.
Note: Melrose himself maintained that no deal had been reached when talking to ESPN’s SportsCenter last night.
From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
One of the worst kept secrets in hockey is expected to become public in the next few days as Barry Melrose returns from TV exile to take over the coaching reins of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Melrose, who last coached in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings 13 years ago, is expected to get the Tampa job, replacing John Tortorella, who has yet to be replaced or reassigned.
More at TSN.
Update 8:42pm ET: Melrose responds on ESPN‘s SportsCenter—
“This is no different than any of the last 10 years,” Melrose said in response to a report in the Toronto Star. “I’ve been contacted by a handful of clubs every year since joining ESPN. My desire to coach again has never been a secret, but I love what I do at ESPN.”
Melrose’s return to NHL coaching has been speculated upon several times in recent years but, when asked about the report on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Friday, Melrose added: “I want to coach again in the NHL. But nothing’s going on. Uh, I work for ESPN and I’m very happy working for ESPN.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail hockey blog,
A more intriguing story is what will happen next in the organization if and when the Oren Koules group completes its purchase of the team from Palace Sports & Entertainment. The assumption is that Koules will then ask Feaster to replace his current coach, John Tortorella, with Barry Melrose, the ESPN analyst and coach of the Wayne Gretzky-led Los Angeles Kings team that went to the 1993 Stanley Cup final. Koules is from Chicago; he played junior hockey in the Western League, for a time in Great Falls and then in Medicine Hat. That’s the connection to Melrose - that and the fact that because of his ESPN platform, Melrose may be one of the most recognizable faces in hockey south of the 49th parallel, even if he hasn’t coached in more than a decade and the game has changed in so many dramatic ways since he last worked behind an NHL bench.
If Tampa shows signs of being a gong show, how will Vincent Lecavalier respond to ongoing attempts to sign him to a what could amount to a lifetime contract extension? He might just ask that negotiations be put off until everything settles out between the old and new ownership groups and he can see how the front-office shapes up.
From PJ Swenson at Sharkspage,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said in a short telephone interview today that he is still interested in a head coaching position. “Once you are a head coach, you are always a coach” Melrose said. He believes the position in San Jose is the most desirable opportunity on the market because in his opinion the Sharks could compete for a Stanley Cup next season.
Asked about the feelings of disappointment by players and staff after a second round exit to Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, Melrose said, “They should feel disappointed, they should still be playing”.
From the AP,
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose apologized Tuesday for negative remarks about the area around the New Jersey Devils’ new Prudential Center arena.
In a video segment posted on ESPN.com last week, Melrose described the recently opened arena as a “beautiful new building” but added, “Don’t go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible.”
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Municipal Council President Mildred Crump took exception to the remarks and called for Melrose to apologize.
“All of us make mistakes, but it’s a shame when it’s at the expense of 300,000 people,” Booker said, referring to Newark’s population.