Rumor has it as soon Hollywood producer Oren Koules and friends complete their purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Barry Melrose will be named head coach, replacing the ornery John Tortella.
Because of his ESPN platform, Melrose may be one of the most recognizable faces in hockey south of the 49th parallel, even if he hasn't coached in more than a decade and the game has changed in so many dramatic ways since he last worked behind an NHL bench.I like Barry as a broadcaster and pundit. I listen to his podcast. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but I respect his opinion. And while Melrose has made no bones about his desire to return to coaching, I gotta agree with Duhatschek (and just about everyone else). The new ownership group isn't putting their best foot forward with their choice of head coach. Vincent Lecavalier has one year left on his contract, and will certainly be looking to jump ship if things don't turn around in Tampa.
No rumblings on the fate of GM Jay Feaster. Too bad Neil Smith, who has also been waiting patiently for another NHL gig, isn't friends with Koules like Melrose.