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Parting Schotts

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Melrose returns to ESPN

Barry Melrose wasn't unemployed for too long.

Melrose will rejoin ESPN as a hockey analyst, beginning New Year's Day. Melrose had been at ESPN from October 1996, and left in June to become coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning fired him Nov. 14, 16 games into the season.

"I am very, very excited about coming back home to ESPN, where I have had so many great years,” Melrose said in a statement. “I look forward to analyzing people being fired, rather than being the guy fired.”

Melrose will join Matthew Barnaby on ESPN. Barnaby was hired after Melrose was named the Lightning's coach.

"We welcome Barry back to ESPN," said Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president and managing editor, studio production. "By pairing him with Matthew, ESPN enhances its NHL coverage, and provides hockey fans the in-depth analysis and insight from both the coach and player perspectives.”

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December 4, 2008
8:15 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Melrose and Barnaby should make for a good show. Matt "The Turtle" Barnaby. Why can't ESPN do a NHL Tonight Show like they used to? Do they have to have rights?

BTW, Hockey Night in Canada on NHLN is great!

December 4, 2008
10:26 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Johnny, I'm not sure about the rights issue, but ESPN was scaling back NHL2Night toward the end of its run with the contract. I still think ESPN could be involved as a second cable network to cover the league. ESPN and TNT share cable coverage of the NBA, so it can work for the NHL with ESPN and Versus.

December 5, 2008
10:08 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It could work, of course. Even Major League Soccer has two networks with ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel. I am actually rooting for ESPN to get some games again, because what would the frauds on ESPN Radio do about it, espcially Mike "I Use My Announcer Voice 24 Hours Per Day," Tirico. He only cares about the sports he broadcasts. The other day, they spent less than three minutes discussing the Sean Avery comments, and Michelle "No Business Doing Radio," Tafoya said that she is not good with hockey names. If they cover hockey, then these people have to act like they're interested like the NBA. That might be difficult to do?

BTW, why they big deal over Avery's comments? Yes, they were low brow, but c'mon, aren't we being a bit too sensitive here?

December 5, 2008
10:44 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Avery has built up a resume of questionable behavior, so I was glad to see Bettman suspend him.

As for ESPN, remember, they walked away from the NHL after the lockout ended. The bigger question is, with them buying up just about every sports property, is there room for the NHL?

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