The one thing I've always respected about Barry Melrose as an NHL analyst is that he never hides from his opinion and feelings. Much like the "Rock Report"....he speaks the truth!!!
Melrose was recently fired from his head coaching position of the Tampa Bay Lightning (remember when they won the Stanley Cup...2003-04) because of the 'nings' stellar 5-7-4 record with Melrose at the helm. The organization called the results "unacceptable" and fired Melrose who hadn't coached in the NHL since 1995 and hoped it would send a message to the players to play better.
Melrose recently was on 590 The Fan in Toronto as stated the following when asked about Tampa winning only one of their last eleven since being let go if if gave him glee or not:
" "I'm not going to lie to you, yeah it does, and any coach who tells you otherwise is a liar," Melrose said, adding, "I hope Tampa Bay doesn't win a game in the next year."
I love it!!!
Unlike a lot of former head coaches/players...Melrose isn't afraid to speak his mind when people ask him questions about former employers. I'm sure if the show would have dived into the issue further he would maybe told some revealing problems with maybe why the Ning have only won a game since him being let go. Maybe some personal problems some of the players might be having accounting to their horrible play, or call out management for having unrealistic goals or such for the team.
But now the story has taken a new twist. According to Sportsnet.ca (CSN of Canada) the Lightning are contemplating filing a charge with the NHL for breach of contract because of Melrose's comments and so forth allowing the Ning to not pay 2.25 million owed to Melrose on his 3 yr deal he signed in June.
Yeah, in today's economy that is a lot of money....but do you honestly think that Barry Melrose wants their money?? I would think HELL NO.
Why would Melrose make such comments if he needed the money from the Ning. That's like me going to the papers about how much I despise working at the Score and that I hope we lose every book to Mike and Mike.
Melrose doesn't need the money....he's been the only REAL (sorry E.J.) hockey analyst that ESPN has ever had and I'm pretty sure they pay him a nice lump sum every year to show up once a day on sportscenter and maybe an appearance on First Take or whatever. Melrose doesn't need their money and shouldn't be afraid from commenting on anything he's asked about.
The comments alone make me think as well that there has to be something else behind his firing. Yeah a 2 game under .500 record isn't anything to write home about, but after finishing with 71 points and tied for the worst point total in the NHL last year.....what's realistic? Finishing in the top 8 in the conference may be a couple of years away rather than now.
The Ning probably will file the charge and win it, but I find it funny that in a day and age of everyone having an opinion (blogs/myspace/facebook/twitter/etc.).....Tampa Bay can't take the opinion of one disgruntled employee. He's not leading a march or anything..it's just one mans opinion.....and it's gonna be worth millions!!!!
Respect the mullet......
Side note: Who's got the better mullet??