Ever since the news of the return of Barry Melrose was announced I can't get it out of my head. I just find it odd. I think Barry made a fine contributor to ESPN's attempt to cover the NHL but there was something about the bloodshot eyes and the Sauve hair product dripping from his mullet that have me wondering if this is the right move by Tampa.
A few questions I have:
Will the players respect Barry? This is a question that I have pondered here in Nashville when the 'fire Barry Trotz talk' would surface because people would always throw Terry Crisp's name into the ring. I wonder once a guy is away from the bench for so long and is more friend than mentor to the player can the relationship/or assumed relationship change? I think the right person can change it but it may take a while. There could be unneeded growing pains.
How is he with his X's and O's? Despite hearing him breakdown games I have never really thought of Barry as an X's and O's kind of guy. Tampa has some great young players and one incredible talent in Steven Stamkos and these players really need someone who can teach them the ins and outs of the NHL game. Maybe Barry can do that but that doesn't strike me as his strong suit.
What does Tampa expect from him? Does Hollywood producer and new owner of the Lighting Oren Koules want to put a little star power behind the bench? Do they think they need an ESPN figure to help sell seats? If Stamkos alone doesn't sell an extra 2,000 in season tickets then you have a problem. Yes, I know Barry has won at every level and even took the Kings to a final but does anyone else say 'but he had Gretzky on his team' when that is brought up?
Don't get me wrong Tampa fans. I wish you and Barry well. I think getting some new/old blood back behind the bench is a good idea. We've seen the same players on the coaching carousel for a while now...bringing back someone like Melrose could be good for hockey in Tampa and might be good for some good sound bites as well.
If Eklund is right and Barry is looking at trying to bring in Ray Emery I think it's a great idea. Ray has talent. He is a freakin head case but he has talent. I would like to take a chance on a guy who is trying to prove to the entire league that he belongs!
Now that I've talked about this I feel better...thanks for listening and letting me talk about something non-Preds related.