Melrose returns to ESPN as analyst

Barry Melrose is coming back to ESPN.

Melrose, fired in November by the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be back on ESPN's hockey coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2009. The same day, the NHL will play its annual Winter Classic game at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Melrose joins Matthew Barnaby as an ESPN hockey analyst.

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

Melrose worked for ESPN from October 1996 until leaving to join the Lightning in June 2008.

Previously, he was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings.