Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose will drop by to take your questions about the NHL season.
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 Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
It's been a great start to the season. A few surprises but all in all it's been awesome.
Mark (Charlotte (NC))
Barry, as a former defensemen, which current D-Man do you think has the hardest hit in the NHL?
Barry Melrose (3:33 PM)
Dion Phaneuf of Calgary is the best hitter. It seems like every three or four games he's lays somebody out.
Barry, what do you think of my Hawks chances?
Barry Melrose (3:35 PM)
I like the Hawks. I'm picking them to win the Cup. I picked them to beat Detroit last season. All the young players from a season ago have gotten a year older. I pick Chicago to win it all this season.
Mark (Charlotte (NC))
Do you believe that Preseason gives any inclination to the beginning of the season or is it to tough to tell with coaches tinkering and experimenting with players and lines?
Barry Melrose (3:37 PM)
Here's an example. Vancouver went 7-0-2 in the preseason but are 0-3 to start the regular season so preseason doesn't tell you too much.
Brian (Charlotte, NC)
Tell me that Detroit will get revenge on those nasty Penguins please.
Barry Melrose (3:38 PM)
I don't think so. I don't think Detroit is as good as they were last year and their are at least four teams that have gotten better in the West. It's going to be tough for Detroit to come out of the West this season.
Mike (St. Louis)
I know it was only two games, but how big were those two games against the Wings for the Blues?
Barry Melrose (3:39 PM)
I think anytime you can beat Detroit twice is a good thing. Especially coming from behind. They should be very optimistic in St. Louis right now.
Christian (Staten Island, NY)
Barry, if the Stars are fading down the stretch, could you see them trading Marty Turco?
Barry Melrose (3:40 PM)
I don't think so but it depends on how he's playing. He makes a lot of money and he's a good goaltender. I think there will be a lot of other trades before they trade Marty Turco.
Louis (Montreal )
A comment on Tippett's job as Phoenix coach? I never thought they could be that good, especially early on with all the turmoil in the ownership.
Barry Melrose (3:42 PM)
I think the team is using that as motivation. An "Us against the world type of thing." They have very good goaltending and dare playing in a good system right now.
Brandon (Charleston, SC)
How big of an impact does the injury to Erik Cole have on the Carolina Hurricanes over the next month?
Barry Melrose (3:43 PM)
Eric Cole is one of the four best wings on that team. It was a very tough loss for Carolina.
John (Marshall, Mn)
Barry, when will the NHL be on ESPN again?
Barry Melrose (3:44 PM)
Well I hope soon. Versus and NBA re uped and rating are very good on both networks. I've said it before, if you're going to be a major sport in the United States then you have to be on ESPN.
Do you think the Hawks will have any hangover from their Europe trip?
Barry Melrose (3:45 PM)
It's tough trip mentally and physically. All four team that went to Europe had a nice break when they got back and I think that will make a big difference.
do you think philly really has a shot.. or will their reputation put them in the P box too much at the wrong times
Barry Melrose (3:47 PM)
Well they have to get better at penalties. They can't have as many as they had last season. I think they are the best team in the East. They have shown they can play with Washington. They had the offense and now they have good goaltending. They will be tough to beat in the East.
Nolan (San Jose)
Sharks are stuggiling with goaltending 3 games into the season having given up 12 goals. Do the Sharks need to sign a veteran goaltender or should we not give up on Griess just yet?
Barry Melrose (3:48 PM)
You can't give up on your goaltender because he makes too much money so he's untradeable. You have to just find a way to make him play better.
I know lucic is one of the best enforcers in the league but do you think he will be able to stay healthy and put up points that a 4 mil plus player should?
Barry Melrose (3:50 PM)
Yes I do. This guy is a bull. If he plays more he won't have to fight as much. Great move buy the Bruins locking this guy up.
B-Diddy (Munstoeville, WYO)
Barry-Are you going to eat some more crow tonight when my Avs beat Nashville to go to 3-0? Duchene looks incredible, as does Anderson.
Barry Melrose (3:51 PM)
I think the whole hockey world will be eating crow. Colorado is off to a great start and I love all their kids.
Christian (Staten Island, NY)
How sweet were are those Oilers throwback uniforms?
Barry Melrose (3:52 PM)
The Oilers jersey are great as are the Flames. I love the throwback jerseys. I would love to see the NHL go back to the older jerseys from time-to-time.
SprungOnSports (Long Island )
From what you've seen so far, what teams do you think are on the rise and on the decline?
Barry Melrose (3:53 PM)
St. Louis, Colorado, LA, and Columbus are on the rise. Toronto, Buffalo, and Montreal are the teams who look to be struggling right now.
What do you think of the Olympic situation? I agree that the players should be able to play, but I also see the point that they would be going to russia next and it is a little different then the travel time to North America.
Barry Melrose (3:55 PM)
I'm not a big lover of the Olympics. I don't think the NHL gets enough from shutting the season down for two weeks. If the NHL gained from it then I'll be all for it but I don't see that happening. I do think this will be the last Olympics for the NHL.
John (Sarasota, FL)
Coach: Could be a few positions open early. Would you be interested in another coaching gig?
Barry Melrose (3:56 PM)
NO, I'm very happy with what I'm doing right now. I love coaching but I realize that I'm where I should be.
Chris (Mpls, MN)
What's you take on gretzsky's 30/30 doc and the interview with Peter berg?
Barry Melrose (3:57 PM)
I thought it was great. I know a lot of the background stores from that time. The piece was great and very interesting.
Do you think the bruins can make it to the ECF or Stanley cup even without phil kessels 40 goals?
Barry Melrose (3:58 PM)
I don't think so. I don't think the Bruins are as good as they were last season. They might win their division because they are in a weak division but I don't see them getting past Washington, Pittsburg, or Philadelphia.
Jason (Corvallis, OR)
Barry... Alex Ovechkin... over or under 65 goals this season?
Barry Melrose (3:59 PM)
I would say over.
Chris (Arlington, VA)
Do my capitals have a shot at the Stanly Cup finals this year?
Barry Melrose (4:00 PM)
Oh definitely. I think they are one of the five or six best team in the NHL. They have a very good chance of winning.
Barry Melrose (4:01 PM)
Some great games tonight. Hopefully the games will continue to get better as the season continues.