Big news today, folks. Big, big news.
You probably know by now -- but if you don't -- Barry Melrose was named head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning during a press conference earlier today.
He's taking over the worst team in the league. He's also taking over a team with new owners likely to give their handpicked coach some time and they recently added a little Stamkos to their lives. He's got the tools, offensively speaking. Maybe if they had a goaltender things would be looking better. But no matter. We do not dare doubt the power of the Almighty Mullet Himself.
You can be sure that I'll be all over this story in the coming days, much like Melrose on a fresh can of hairspray. For now, I'll leave you off with what the MSM/blogosphere is thinking about the NHL's newest coach. I'll foreshadow a little -- it isn't good. That's OK. There's at least one website on the internet that supports him in his conquest for world domination. I forget the name though... It just isn't coming to mind right now... I think it begins with "Bar" and ends in "ry Melrose Rocks".
The flash of gleaming teeth and well-styled hair won’t camouflage the fact that Melrose hasn’t coached in the NHL since 1995 and spent the last 12 seasons behind a microphone (and more entertaining than insightful, at that) and not behind a bench. He was away for a good reason — because the game passed him by long ago, perhaps while he was still coaching. And it has kept advancing at a rapid pace while he’s been futzing with his pancake makeup. Seen this way, Barry Melrose is an analog coach in a digital world.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has hired Barry Melrose as head coach; brace yourself, this could really get ugly.
And considering it's the Lightning we're talking about here, that's saying something.
Apparently new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie felt it was a good idea to replace a Stanley Cup winning coach with a guy who not only hasn't coached a game in the NHL for 13 years, but was one who had a mediocre .449 winning percentage in just three seasons of NHL experience in the first place.
Yup, that's got success written aaaaall over it, doesn't it?
And Mike Chen, the voice of reason, is preaching patience:
While many people out in the hockey world (including a bunch of the Bolts fans I know) think that Barry Melrose will be huge gigantic mega-disaster behind the Tampa Bay bench, I’m not totally convinced that it’s really as bad as some people think it is. Yes, he’s been out of the game for a very long time, but he at least has been in a place where he can objectively observe the game change.There’s no doubt that the game is very different now than it was when Melrose was last behind the bench. However, I think he’s surrounded himself with an interesting crew to help him with the transition
UPDATE (1 AM): Gotta love the folks at the NYTimes being on the ball 24/7. Stu from Slapshots responds with the following (also in the comments but I'm not sure how many of you check those)...
Kevin - Thanks for quoting from my post on the NY Times Slap Shot blog. However, it would be more fair if you didn't take the quote out of context. I also explained how I thought Melrose could be a great benefit for the Lightning despite his limitations and also explored the potential upside. You're always welcome to scalp material from us, but next time, kindly provide your readers with the full picture. -- Stu HackelMy apologies, Stu. I'll certainly be more careful in the future.