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 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (3:02 PM)
Good and tough day for Pittsburgh fans. They made an addition and loss a player. Good and bad day for you guys.
Cody (Mankato, MN)
Hello Barry, will you be doing any other commercial parodies this year, like your most interesting hockey analyst commercial?
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
We're planning on doing a couple more. They are actually going to have Dos Equis beer's "The Most Interesting Man in the World" (Jonathan Goldsmith) in the commercials.
Barry! You are my favorite ESPN analyst. Is Shero done with his moves for this year? Predictions for how Kovy will work out back in Pittsburgh?
Barry Melrose (3:04 PM)
Well he's going to help, he's what they need. I think they will be looking to get a defenseman as well. But everything hinges on Sidney coming back.
Barry, who is your top rookie this season?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
I think it is Grabner from the Islanders, Skinner from the Hurricans or Couture from the Sharks.
Hey Barry, do you think the Blues can make a late push to the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
I don't think so. I think there are too many teams ahead of them. Catching one team is one thing but St. Louis basically has to jump five teams.
Barry - do you think Tyler Myers has the potential to become one of the top scoring defensemen in the NHL?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
I don't see him being a great offensive defenseman but I think he can become a great all-around defenseman.
Bradford Christensen (Boise, ID)
Barry, what are your thoughts on the Blues - Avs trade. Stewart & Shattenkirk for Johnson
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
I like Erik Johnson a lot and I think he can become a great defenseman. To get Johnson, Colorado gave up two excellent young players. I'm a big believer that whoever gets the best players in a trade wins the trade and I think Erik Johnson is the best player in the deal.
Jaime Lanngenbrunner (Dallas)
Barry, does anyone in the NHL have a worse record than me?
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
(Laughing) No. It's been a tough year for you. New Jersey was awful when you were there and Dallas has struggle mightily as of late.
As the Devils continue this ridiculous surge, and the teams ahead of them continue to struggle, do they have not only a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, but also staging a miraculous playoff run?
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
I would have said a month ago that you were nuts but if they continue to win at this pace, which a can't believe they can, there is a good chance they will make the playoffs. And it would be the best comeback I've ever seen.
Rob (Manassas VA)
Did Ovechkin get his automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation Monday? VS broadcast team pointed this out but hadn't heard anything further from it.
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
No. They did mention that during the game and Alex better be careful. But they are saying he came on the ice to talk to the referee. But Washington better make sure he stays put from now on.
Just a non trade deadline question. I am curious as to why Ken Hitchcock has not made his way back in to the league. Any insights?
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
It seems that young coaches are in favor right now. But I'm sure if an teams fire coaches in the offseason, that Hitch will be one of the guys interviewing for the job.
Hey Barry, did you see the French Connection skate out during the Sabres game last night? pretty awesome. and what did you think of Terry's press conference on Tuesday?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
I thought it was great. It was a great day for the NHL and for Buffalo. Terry is going to be a great owner and a new page has turned for the Buffalo Sabers.
Is the regular season too long? I feel like we've been in the stretch run for weeks, but there's still a quarter season to go. How mentally difficult is being locked in a cutthroat race (like in the West) for 40 games before the playoffs even start?
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
Well the NHL is the toughest league in the world mentally and physically and January and February are the two toughest months. Once we get down to 20 games things start to happen fast. But it is a very very tough schedule and I do agree that the season is too long.
are there any big names going to be traded besides Richards and McCabe? thanks
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
Edmonton might move a couple guys. Los Angeles is trying to make a big trade. And we've already had a lot of big names traded. I would say if Richards gets traded, he will be the biggest name traded.
Did the Avalanch give up too much to get Johnson
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
That shows how much they wanted him. I like the deal for the Avs. I think they got a great player and a good young man.
Barry - my Wings are in need of a back-up goalie. I'm not feeling good about Ozzie coming back at 100%. What are your thoughts and are you hearing about any potential moves by Detroit?
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
I think Detroit would like to get another goaltender for insurance. The Ducks got Ellis today for Tampa Bay but there are not a lot of goalies available. Kenny Holland usually figured out how to get what he wants.
Barry, what do the Caps need to add to be a legitimate cup contender?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
A power play. I think the Caps are looking for some depth but their not going to mortgage the future in any crazy deals.
Matt (Long Island)
The hope for my NYI to make the playoffs this year is dismal to none. Is there reason to hope in the future with this young team or does Garth Snow and Charles Wang have to do something to energize the fans and bring live back to the Island.
Barry Melrose (3:23 PM)
Well actually the team has played very well as of late. So maybe there is a reason to be optimistic. They will get another high draft pick this year. Hopefully the team will have a good start next year and people will get behind them early.
Zach Thomas (Delray Beach, FL)
Barry, how would you grade Ray Shero on his moves so far this year? I think that he is robbing other GM's blind! Also, do you think Sid will play this year?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
I think Ray has done a good job. The team has been decimated by injuries and nobody can replace a Crosby or a Malkin. I think Ray is one of the better GM's in the NHL.
C.Drama (Long Island)
How Come Weiss was not suspended for the elbow to the back of Martinek's head
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
I think he should have been. I think the NHL blew that one. I think if Matt Cooke would have done it he would have been suspended.
What are you thinking about our chances of keeping in the playoffs, and if we do how high can we go in the standings?
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
They lost a tough game to the Rangers but what I like about Carolina is their home schedule. But it's going to tough for them. They must start playing better than they have as of late.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hi Barry, I'm a huge fan of the Hockey Today podcast. What is your perfect suit, and tie color combination. Thank you and go Penguins.
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
I would say a black suit, a black shirt with a bright blue tie.
Erik (San Francisco)
What's the deal with Souray? I'm surprised no one picked him up off waivers.
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
Well he has one more year left on his deal and he makes a lot of money next year. He hasn't played well in the AHL but I think its the year left on his contract more that anything.
Buddy, tdot [via mobile]
Is James Reimer the real deal?
Barry Melrose (3:31 PM)
Well he's playing good. But I think you have to judge him after he plays 40 or 50 games. We've seen a lot of young goaltender play well at the start and not be able to carry it on.
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
Great time of the year and hope everybody is enjoying it as much as I am.