ESPN announced this glorious morning that starting on Jan. 1, Barry Melrose, “a knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic hockey analyst” according to its press release, will be back with the network that he left in June to try to become the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was fired after 16 games for reasons we still aren’t quite sure.
Melrose’s return, which coincides with the NHL’s Winter Classic game to be held at Wrigley Field in Chicago, will back on “SportsCenter” and ESPNEWS, appearing with current ESPN hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby.
“I am very, very excited about coming back home to ESPN where I have had so many great years,” Melrose said in a release. “I look forward to analyzing people being fired rather than being the guy fired.”
The former Kings coach (’92 to ’95) joined ESPN in Oct., 1996 fulltime after doing post-season work when the team, which reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1993, failed to do so in the subsequent years (’94 and ’95).