Chat with Barry Melrose
Melrose re-joined ESPN after coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first part of the 2008-09 season. He first started with ESPN after coaching the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals and was a commentator on ESPN and ABC since 1995. Melrose made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets in 1979. A defenseman, he played for the Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings before retiring after the 1986 season.
Send your questions now and join Barry in chat Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:31 PM)
Barry will be here soon!
Barry Melrose (2:33 PM)
Interesting games last night. The Pens are an interesting team that keep falling, and Washington shows again they are an elite team.
Mike (pittsburgh pa) [via mobile]
Barry what in the world is wrong with my pens i know we miss gonchar but theres got to be more to it than that is it time to replace therrien
Barry Melrose (2:35 PM)
Well last night they played hard but they made terrible defensive plays on two of the goals. Everyone else is cutting out the glaring mistakes at this time of the year, while Pittsburgh keeps making them. They score enough, but on defense they are giving up too much.
Scott (Kingstion, RI)
DO you think that the Bruins will hold off the sharks and win the presidents trophy?
Barry Melrose (2:36 PM)
I do not think so. I think the Sharks will win it. I think SJ has more talent. It will be tougher for Boston to stay on the streak they are on and the Sharks are just on fire.
King (Howell, NJ)
Barry, as a coach did you ever feel like one particular referee always had it in for you? I ask you this because I feel that McCreary constantly calls an inordinate amount of bad penalties (Rupp last night) on the Devils.
Barry Melrose (2:37 PM)
Well the Devils do not take many penalties. But every coach thinks every ref is out to get them. We become nuts about it. But the Devils chew penalties up, so I do not think there is much there.
Will Blue Jackets sneak into playoffs? They're playing better as of late.
Barry Melrose (2:39 PM)
Tough game last night, and when you are playing last place teams you need to win. I do not think they will. Dallas is playing better and are in it, and Vancouver got a big win and is right there. They are much better and Mason has really helped, but I do not think they sneak in.
Do you think the Caps need to acquire a defensive minded forward to replace Clark? We dominated the 1st two periods in Jersey last night but seem to get content with a lead and let other teams back in the game.
Barry Melrose (2:40 PM)
There will be guys available around the deadline. I think a guy like Federov can change his game a bit, but a guy like Peca may be available. So yes, I can see them looking for a player like that.
Will the Caps catch Boston?
Barry Melrose (2:42 PM)
A month ago I would have said yes, but Boston are over the injuries and healthy and I do not see them faltering. So I do not think so.
Dick (Johnson, MD)
Barry, I find it absolutely RIDICULOUS that Mike Green has been snubbed two years in a row for the All-Star Game. Are the voters THAT stupid?
Barry Melrose (2:43 PM)
Well Ovechkin did not even get picked by the fans. Green is a great player and should be an All-Star. But you also have to consider the fact that every team needs to be represented by rule.
TONY MO (NYC):
If the rangers aren't going to play prucha shouldn't they just trade him?
Barry Melrose (2:44 PM)
He did score 30 NHL goals and is young. I think they would like to keep him at the salary he has. I think if they are looking for a vet on defense, they may deal him; but I do not think they are looking to move him. They have not given up hope on him just yet.
Fred from Winnipeg
Did you think Sundin would be such a bust with the Canucks? He's been virtually invisible out there on the ice.
Barry Melrose (2:46 PM)
Well he socred last night and Vancouver won, so maybe it's a turnaround. I think we need to cut Sundin some slack and evaluate the whole second half and not just the first 10 games. Let's see if the Canucks make the postseason and then we can judge.
Chompers (Merrick, NY)
Barry, my Isles are playing pretty good hockey right now, it may be time for me to head back to the Coliseum for some popcorn and a game. Do you think we may be turning the corner (even a little bit)?
Barry Melrose (2:48 PM)
Definitely. You turned a big corner winning four in a row. I still think you will finish last, which is not a bad thing because you'll get a good player. I think you should go back and get some popcorn and a cold beer.
Krzgzgyzy Ukbemov (Uzbekistan)
Everybody speaks of great entertainment value of penguins/capitals as potential first round matchup in east. What would be good first round matchup in west?
Barry Melrose (2:49 PM)
San Jose Dallas, I think would be great. With the year Dallas had, I think it would be very interesting an very scary for the Sharks. Maybe getting Luongo against Detroit, would be very interesting. I think any of the Western mathcups will be interesting even though everyone expects Detroit and SJ to emerge in the West.
Barry Melrose (2:50 PM)
This is a very international chat. I need to learn some more languages.
Ok Barry, in the end, what does Florida do, do they make the playoffs, and where does Bouwmeester end up?
Barry Melrose (2:52 PM)
This is tough. I do not think they can sign him. I think they should make one last big effort for him. But I do not think they can keep him and risk losing him for nothing. Look what Atlanta got for Hossa, four players. They can't let him go for nothing. And I feel bad for them because they have a great, young team. But you can't risk losing him for nothing. They need Bouwmeester to make the postseason, so if they move him, they will not. That's what makes your question so tough.
Barry, I'm a Rangers fan but does Adam Graves' number really deserve to be retired? I mean he's a great guy but it's not like he put up ridiculous stats or was even the face of our franchise for any period of time. I almost feel we won't rest until every member of the '94 team has their number retired. Your thoughts?
Barry Melrose (2:54 PM)
In agree with you about the numbers, but Adam Gaves is a special guy. Graves is what is great about hockey and hockey players. He is an unbelievable person. I think because of the intagiables he brought to the team and the city means his number should be retired. I think it is not just a stats thing. You need to see what guy brings to an organization. I think he deserves it.
Barry, lots of trade rumors. Spezza to NY? Any chance? Any other high-profile potential?
Barry Melrose (2:56 PM)
I think anything could happen, but if they were going to trade Spezza, they would not have fired Hartburgh. I would be surprised if Ottawa moves one of the big three now.
Alejandro Guadalupe (Mexico)
Viva el hockey! What do you think is most responsible for turnaround of my Dallas Stars hockey team?
Barry Melrose (3:00 PM)
Well, welcome to the show Alejandro! I think they got back to being the Stars. They stopped using Avery as their excuse for not playing well, realizes Morrow is not coming back and got back to playing good defense, great goaltending and scoring timely goals. They are not giving up too much and Turco is doing great. That has always been their type of hockey. They got away from playing their game at the start of the season, but now that they are back to it and as a result are in the playoff hunt.
Barry Melrose (3:02 PM)
Thank you for all the questions from the U.S., Canada and the rest of the international community. Hockey is indeed a worldwide sport!