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 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
Barry will be here soon!
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
I hope everyone enjoyed the SJ-Boston game. Could be a Cup final series. I would love to see those two teams meet in the finals. It would be a great series.
will the pens make the playoffs in your opinion?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
You know what they play SJ tonight and I do not think they will. Three weeks ago I would have said yes, but they have not played well as of late. They make glaring mistakes on defense and only play ahrd when they absolutely have to. Florida is playing great, Carolina playing better and Buffalo looks like they have righted things. I say they will not make it, right now.
if your the red wings.. who do you keep hossa or franzen?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
Oh boy! I think you have to keep Hossa, who will score 40-45 goals. Detroit has to win now. If you can get Hossa for 4-5 years with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I think you are set. I say Hossa.
With the improvement of the Dallas Stars - do you view them as having similar talent to say, a Chicago, or Calgary?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
No, I think with Morrow and Zubov being out, I think the other teams are more taleneted. Now talent does not always win you playoff rounds, and Dallas is playing great hockey right now. The Stars do not have the scorer the other teams have, but I would not want to play Dallas in the first round.
patrick (orange county, Calif)
What was the difference for SJ in the game yesterday?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
They never quit. And they outhit Boston. They also won a lot of draws. And when your best player, Marlow, leads the team in hits that is a good sign. That was a good gut-check for SJ. I really liked how they handled it.
Ben (San Fran)
I watched the last period of the Sharks-Bruins game last night and the Sharks dominated. They were flying to the puck and finishing every hit. That's the most physical I've seent he Sharks play. So Why can't they do that to the Wings? Are the Wings to quick to be forechecked like that?
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
Well a lot of times play like the team they are playing. SJ matched the hitting last night. But Detroit does not do a lot of hitting, so when SJ played Detroit, they play like Detroit. If the oposition does not hit, they will not hit. Last night Boston came out hitting, and SJ responded and matched it. I think that is something the Sharks have to change about themselves if they are going to beat Detroit.
The Rangers recent slump has been hurting me. Will avery work out for us? Do you think we'll make any moves before the deadline? Will they turn it around and make the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
I think they will make the playoffs but the Avery move is a sign of how desperate they are. But they do play better with him in the lineup. It is a depserate move by a desperate club. I think they will make some moves, or try to, because they cannot be happy with how they are playing.
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
And the way they are playing right now, they will be limping into the playoffs not marching into the playoffs.
Bill (Syosset, NY)
Do the Devils have enough tools right now to make a real challenge for the Eastern Conference and maybe the Cup?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
The Devils are a dangerous team and will have Marty back. They are getting goalsd from a lot of different guys and Parise is starting to become a superstar. They scare you in the playoffs with their great defense. So yes, this team scares me in the playoffs.
Flyers Bruins eastern conference finals?? What do you think?
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
Could happen. I think Washington is going to be there. I think it will be Boston and Washington right now. Washington has so much talent and Boston is playing so well. Those would be my picks.
Rick (San Jose, CA)
Mr. Melrose, How far can the Kings go if Quick continues his impressive play? Long live the mullet!
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
Well I tell ya the Kings have been very impressive and the goaltending is there and the young guys are scoring. To make the playoffs in the West is toughm but they look great and this is the right time to get hot. I think maybe they have found the goaltender they have been looking for.
Seth (Wasilla Alaska)
Who will be in the finals? thanks -seth
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
I think the finals will be Detroit and Washington. I think the Caps are the most talented team in the East and Detroit is still the team in the West until San Jose can show us differently.
Pronger to the Capitals. Can it happen? What would it take? Lastly, would the Caps be a favorite to win the Cup with Pronger anchoring the blueline?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
Well it would take a fall ou of the playoffs by the Ducks. They are battling for that playoff spot. I think Washington is looking for a defeseman and will be involved with Bouwmeester; but I do not see the Ducks falling out of the playoff chase, so I do not see a Pronger move.
Hey Barry - give me the top players we should see moved at the deadline...
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
A lot depends on the playoff situation. Bouwmeester and Florida will be interesting to see. Maybe Kovalchuck moves. Anyone in Atlanta will be available, the Isles will be looking to move people. In the West, St. Louis may look to move Tkachuk.
gilly (new york city)
Can Devils trade Clemmensen with Brodeur on his way back and Weekes giving solid games each go? If so, what is the likelihood of a three way trade Neidermyer trade?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
No chance for Neidermeyer. I think Clemmensen is a great safety valave. You do not trade goaltenders who can play, especially with Marty getting older. I think NK loves Clemmensen and I think he will be backing up Marty for a couple of years and then take over when he retires. I think Clemmensen may get a start every 5 games. I think Weekes is more likely to be moved.
Thanks Barry - great chat - Do you see the Leafs having any success dumping players? Antropov? Kubina? Is Kaberle tradeable with the injury?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
I do not think they want to move Kaberle, who is a bargain, despite his deal. Everyone else can and should be moved. They are a mess, and need to bring in young guys. But you need some guy back in defense. I think they want to keep Kaberle and build around him going forward.
Blair - Michigan
The only thing gives me pause about Detroit taking another run is....the goaltending. Osgood has been less than average this season. Can Conklin handle the load?
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
Do not forget that was the same argument made last year...and they won the Cup. In Detroit the goaltender does not need to be the best player. They did it last year and I think they are okay now. They may look to get a goaltender at the deadline if they really feel they need one, but I think they are pretty happy with the team.
Why did Burke call out Antropov? Isnt only going to devalue him at the deadline?
Barry Melrose (3:31 PM)
He called out a lot of guys and he is trying to get them to play better to increase their trade value. It has not worked yet, losing a game being up 4-1 last night was brutal. I think Burke is challenging guys to get them to play better.
Mark (Louisville, KY)
Do the Blackhawks still need that second line centerman that they needed when the season started? And how do you think the Versteeg experiment at center has worked out?
Barry Melrose (3:33 PM)
Well chicago is a great team right now, and have great young players. I am sure they will look to add depth. But I think they may look to one of their young guys to move into that second ceterman position.
gilly (new york city)
Rangers have Caps, Florida, and Flyers next, assuming they lose all 3 pretty tough games, can you tell me about Renney's job situation.
Barry Melrose (3:34 PM)
I think they have to get things turned around. There are rumors about Renney being on the hot seat. So yes if they go on a losing streak, a 3-5 game one, I think Tom's job may be in jeopardy.
Does Columbus need to make a move to reach the playoffs for the first time? If so, who could Scott Howson be targeting?
Barry Melrose (3:35 PM)
I think they want another defeseman and another guy to score, but everyone is looking for that. And a lot of this will be determined in the next few weeks as teams move out of the playoff spots. They are a good hockey club right now, but it will be tough to make the playoffs in the West. At least theya re getting very good goaltending, which is what they always needed.
Barry Melrose (3:37 PM)
I will be watching Pittsburgh-SJ tonight. The Pens need to make some noise. That's what I will focus on tonight. Talk to you next week.