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Barry Melrose to the Lightning?

Posted Apr 27, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Apr 27, 2008 at 12:47 AM

Not sure how many caught this little nugget coming out of the Satellite Hot Stove segment on CBC Saturday night during the second intermission of the Montreal-Philadelphia game, but Al Strachan, who works for the Sun Media outlets in Canada, stated that John Tortorella will be fired as head coach once Oren Koules gains control of the team. Not a real shock to hear that considering some of the events that have transpired in the past couple of weeks.

But the stunner was to hear that Barry Melrose, yes that Barry Melrose of the Mullet Hall of Fame,

who has all of three years of NHL coaching experience and none since the 1994-95 season with Los Angeles, is Koules’ first choice for the team’s now coach. I can’t say I put too much stock into this. I mean, Melrose has been in a very comfortable position perched up in Bristol, Conn., as ESPN’s lead analyst. Can’t imagine he would want to leave that spot to get back into the NHL. Now, maybe 10 years ago, it might have some legs (and lest we forget that Melrose once pushed for the job before Jacques Demers was hired). But certainly, assuming that Tortorella does not return for next year, there have to be better candidates out there other than Melrose.

Pat Burns? Pat Quinn? Craig Hartsburg? Craig Ramsay?

Strachan, who also stated earlier this year that Vinny Lecavalier was going to ask to play in a larger market this summer such as Los Angeles, Montreal or New York, also said that Jay Feaster is going to remain on for the final two years of his contract, but as more of a token role because they don’t want to buy him out of the contract. Also claimed that Koules is going to be Gary Bettman’s worse nightmare because he plans on running the team like Mark Cuban runs the Dallas Mavericks.

Anybody have some thoughts on Melrose even being mentioned as a possible candidate to coach this team? Anybody you guys want to see as the next coach, assuming of course that Tortorella isn’t back (which isn’t a guarantee at this point)?

I’ll have some thoughts on the Tortorella situation here in the coming days, so check back as I continue to gather and think about some stuff.

Reader Comments

Por (TampaRob) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I mentioned Melrose as one of my picks to replace Torts several weeks ago.. I like the guy.. but it’s a long shot and I would think some up and coming assistant coach would be more likely to step in and take this head coaching job.. there’s a lot of talent here and they just need a new voice to guide them.. regarding a new GM: I would love to see someone like Scotty Bowman or Phil Esposito.

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Por (Geografer) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Get Mike Babcock! His contract in Detroit is up and he hasn’t been resigned. The man is a genius and knows how to treat his players and more importantly his goalies. Anyone who can deal with Hasek can deal with anyone. There hasn’t been a year since he became an NHL coach his team has not been in the playoffs and his players respect him. If not him what about Sullivan? He will probably be gone this summer when some other team grabs him so we should grab him first.

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Por (Herb) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

What a complete joke for Melrose to be the Bolts coach. I would rather keep Torts any day of the week over a stiff like the mullet head Melrose. Where does Strachan keep coming up with this RUBBISH?

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Por (Randall Buschmann) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Melrose wouldn’t be a bad choice. I’ve always liked him. One guy I think could end up here is Bob Hartley. The guy I would LOVE to see here is Pat Burns. Three time Jack Adams award winner(with 3 different teams!) and he has a Stanley Cup on his resume…I mean he’d be exactly the kind of respectable guy to bring in to replace Torts. I vote for Burns!!

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Por (Mike Joyce) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Melrose is a joke, but then Denis is a joke to and Uncle Feaster was able to orchestrate that one.  I agree with the sentiment that keeping Torts wouuld be preferable to getting Melrose.

If anyone thinks that Burns or Hartley would be any less demanding than Torts, they haven’t been in touch with the careers of those two gentlemen.  The only difference between those two guys is that Burns has been successful.

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Por (Randall Buschmann) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

who said anything about not wanting a “demanding” coach? Torts isn’t on his way out because hes “demanding.” Burns is the best guy for the job, period. Theres nobody with better credentials available. How about a new GM too? I vote either John Muckler or Doug Armstrong.

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Por (Nicolas Montagne) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Forget about Barry Melrose, he is out of the business and the source (Strachan) doesn’t have a good record when it comes to breaking news… Hartley will probably go to Ottawa, since he is a local boy with a great coaching career. He already told the press he wants that job and the Sens will be blamed by the fans if they hire someone else and have a bad season… Pat Burns is probably the guy you will get if they fire Tortorella, as he clearly indicated he wanted to coach again and keeping in mind is second home is in Florida. Burns is an amazing coach, one that could push your team right back into the playoff. He will give you immediate results and his impact will last 2 or 3 years, then he will be burned in the locker room.

N Montagne

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Por (Nicolas Montagne) on April 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

(Follow up to my last comment)

I don’t see him, (Burns) as a good rebuilding coach but if you guys think you can do a rebound like the Philly Flyers did,go after him. But I warn you, he is not smoother than Tortorella is, and is as rude with the media. Finally, I dream of Vinny asking out to move to Montreal but I’m confident he will be a Bolt for years to come…

Nicolas Montagne

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Por (Chris) on April 28, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Al Strachan has repeatedly printed rumors about the Lightning, especially Lecalvier leaving the Lightning, which has never come true.  The guy likes to make up stories to stir the pot a little.  Take this Melrose stuff for what it is, Strachans feable attempt to create a story, rather than report the story. The new Owner and Tort’s are friends, whatever difficutlies thewy have in their relationship now, will be resolved, and Torts will remain as coach.

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Por (dave douche) on April 28, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Torts wears me out with his double syandards- ” I love old school hockey”
yet when Roy wants to go old scholl and beat up Cote as payback for the Cryers embarrasing him on the big screen, not only does he not let him, he benchs him and essentially threw him off the team. Obviously Torts is unwilling to give the players exactly what he demands from them- respect and honesty. Further more, he plays Vinny, Marty, and boyle WAY too many minutes, because he doesn’t trust the others and cannot accept it when they make errors- Time for Torts to go. My vote is for Mike Sullivan. Then burns.

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Por (Michelle) on April 28, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I really hope all of this isn’t true…

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Por (Hawkeye) on April 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Melrose’s 3 years of experience and out of coaching for 13 would keep me from wanting him here.

Plus, he’s constantly put down Tampa Bay, so why should we give him the time of day?

Eh Oren?

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Por (Todd Carstens) on April 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Come on MANAGEMENT!  Get a grip on reality.
          G W L T Otl %
1992-93 Kings 84 39 35 10 0   0.524
1993-94 Kings 84 27 45 12 0   0.393
1994-95 Kings 48 16 23 9 0   0.427

This is the best option for Torts’s replacement?  AWESOME stats—-NOT!


This guy sucks.  Look at Geographer’s post, Mike Babcock may be available.  With a little research, there are likely several others that have good records.  Even an average fan of hockey knows this is a disaster waiting to happen.

This whole idea smells like ANOTHER Jay Feaster blunder.  FIRE FEASTER, and keep Torts for 1 more year.  If you fire Torts now, it will cost you $1mil.  He is still under contract for one more season (I think).

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Por (Art Paty) on April 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Whats wrong with Mike Sullivan

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Por (Jim S) on April 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Remember when Joe Maddon arrived as the Rays new manager? Everybody donned the black frame glasses? I can see it now….19,000+ Lightning fans on opening night….. all wearing mullets!!

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Por (Philip Tompkins) on April 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Getting rid of Tortorella would be the biggest mistake the Lightning could ever make. If Torts leaves, then be ready for one of the worst periods in franchise history…The last thing we need is a “hands on” owner, who as far as I know, hasn’t had much success wherever he has gone. We might as well have the Canadian curling coach run this team.

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Por (Paul Bent) on April 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I live in Toronto and we don’t believe anything that Al strachen says.The Hockey Night In Canada intermissions are for entertainment purposes only.Don Cherry in the first and Al Strachen in the second.Even his co hosts in the round table laugh at his supposed scoops.

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Por (david copple) on April 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

vinny wants a players coach . we have a jack adams winner on or payroll or still did as of last year and that bill barber. give him a shot again he got canned in philly for being to nice to the players. the lightning need a new voice !!!!!

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Por (Nick Seaman) on April 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Pretty sure Joel Quenneville will be available next season.

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Por (Philip Tompkins) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

There are not many coaches that have the record Tortorella has…4 playoff appearances, Eastern Conference Champions, Stanley Cup Champions, and two division titles. oh and not to mention that he took this once crappy team and made us into contenders. We are a contender every time with Torts. Give him one more season and you’ll be demanding an extension on his contract.

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Por (CJH) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Melrose couldn’t win with a still-young, still in his prime Gretzky.  During the All Star game in Tampa he paraded around like he was an actor. Melrose? I already gave up my season tickets, do they want me to stop watching too?

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Por (Katya) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This is just making me sick!  I do not want the tickets…really! Vinny deserves better than this!

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Por (Patricia Smith) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This really makes me sick as well.  What in the world are they thinking? Tortorella has only had one bad season with the Lightning and with all the injuries we had this past season, it made his job very tough to put together anything on the ice.  I think they need to leave our Team alone and focus on other more important issues:  Like bad calls from the referees

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Por (angel gabriel) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

while we’re “cleaning house” this summer why not replace rick and ” the chief”. some objective reporting would have been appreciated for a bad team that finished where they belonged. there was too much “happy talk” during a dismal season. what is really apparent on the versus and nbc reporting is player/coach/management screw ups are aired. our announcers redefine the term..“homers”

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Por (Geografer) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

part 1 - Wow Angela, I would have to completely disagree. Maybe it is because I live so far away & only get Center Ice & am at the mercy of whatever feed I get, but I have found the two of them to be two of the best that I see & I watch way too many games (both east & west). Rick was even picked by Versus to call many of the first round of games. Chief has his moments but show me a color guy that doesn’t. He is also the 1st to point out when we get a lucky call or there is a penalty committed against us the refs miss. I have heard both call out players & point out problems.

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