One of the great sporting headscratchers in the last decade was the Tampa Bay Lightning's decision to hire ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose to be their head coach in 2008, a full 13 years after he last stood behind an NHL bench. The mulleted one's stint as Lightning head coach was nothing short of a disaster. Melrose was fired after 16 games and the ugliness continued afterwards with Melrose and Lightning ownership throwing barbs at one another including the fired coach saying, "I hope Tampa Bay doesn't win a game in the next year."
Just as fast as you could say Vincent LeCavalier, Melrose was back on ESPN less than two months after his Tampa Bay dismissal and moved on with his television career analyzing the NHL like nothing ever happened.
But Melrose's time on the Lightning bench interrupting a lenghty television career remains one of the stranger stories in recent memory. And it just so happens Barry Claus dropped a Christmas gift off at ESPN.com with a published excerpt about his Lightning tenurefrom an autobiography Melrose released this fall. In the excerpt, Melrose confirms what we all knew - it was never going to work from the start.no comments