Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (3:04 PM)
I hope everyone enjoyed the Rangers game last night ... one of the best games of the year. Can't wait to see them play again! Let's go!
Louie (Tampa (By way of NYC))
How good are the Rangers to your trained eye right now? How good can they be come April? A legit Cup contender?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
Yes, they are legit. They beat Pittsburgh which is the best team in the East. Lundquist was good as we expected. Richards and Gabbert were good as well which is good news. Those guys should be offensive forces .. with their front line the Rangers are as good as any team in the East.
It seems kind of a shame what happened to Bruce Boudreau but since that's water under the bridge, how do think the Caps will respond with Dale Hunter as coach?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
They didn't respond very well last night. 19 shots against a team with 7 regulars out? They will get better but right now they certainly aren't as good as NY, Philly, Boston and Pittsburgh.
With the season fast going downward for the Anaheim Ducks will they make a major trade and move Bobby Ryan out the door?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
I think they have to do something. Either fire the coach - which I don't think will happen - or make a trade. The players people want are the players they don't want to trade. Carlisle has more wiggle room than most coaches but they are just playing very poorly right now.
Ted (West Chesterfield)
Lightning or Red Wings, who do you got tonight?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
I think the Red Wings. Lightning aren't playing great right now. Red Wings just the opposite. They are playing well, scoring goals, getting good play in net. The Lightning are picking a bad time to play the Red Wings.
Gerry (San Francisco, CA)
Considering these are the two only teams that haven't qualified for the playoffs since the end of the NHL lockout, will the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers finally make the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
I would say one of them will .. I don't think both can. Tampa Bay is a very good team ... Washington will get things straightened out ... 8 teams are basically fightning for two spots.
Stella (Thornton, CO)
I'm sick of watching the Avs play this year. Is it time they get rid of Sacco and Sherman??? They also look like they're in need of top 6 forwards.
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
I think a lot of the young players haven't developed the way they would want. Something has to be done quickly. They have been extremely poor in the last 15 games. I think Sacco will be the next coach to go if he doesn't win games quick.
do you find the difference in philly's D as shocking as i do when pronger is out vs when he is in? our D is a turnover machine ... i think we finally have the goaltending but could we not have the defense? thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:11 PM)
They are a different team with Pronger. He has to get healthy for the playoffs. They should make the playoffs without but they can't go anywhere in the postseason without him. Don't worry about the regular season. He just needs 10-15 games before the playoffs start.
The peguins record has not changed much since Crosby's return. They were doing well before, but was it too much to expect when he did return they would separate from the rest of the pack?
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
I don't think anyone is going to seperate in the East. Boston and NY are great teams ... Philly will get their points ... nobody is going to jump out and win the conf. by 10 points. It's going to be a grind all year.
Will Teemu really hang them up after this year?
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
No. I think he will take it year by year as long as he is playing well. He can skate and in today's game if you can skate you can play. The way he is playing I don't see him hanging them up anytime soon.
Marc (Malden, MA)
What can the Bruins get in return for David Krecji? I know the Iginla rumors are out there. It just doesn't make sense to keep Krecji if he's going to be the 3rd line center.
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
He's really on the top line. Still the No. 1 center in Boston. Those rumors are out there but Iginla makes a lot of money and Boston would have to move a big money guy to get him. I don't think those rumors are truthful. Krecji was a big part of the Bruins winning the Cup so something drastic would have to happen for that trade to go down.
Any chance Lindross and Clarke drop the mitts and fight each other at the alumni game?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
No. Time heals a lot of wounds. They aren't best friends but it should be a great game and fun to watch. Water under the bridge I think.
I looked over Pierre's projected awards, and there aren't any sharks on there, even in the honorable mentions. Burnside has the Sharks currently as 4 on the power rankings, and it seems interesting that their success hasn't led to any standouts. Is this a good thing or bad thing looking at the Sharks as the season moves forward?
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
Right now they are out of the playoffs in the West so it's not like they are unbelievable. They are a good team but they haven't had any outstanding individual performances. They have let us down so many times that it is hard to be a Sharks booster.
Andy (Vestal NY)
Is Sidney Crosby's stache a joke or serious?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
He got behind the Movember charity event. Not everyone can be a hairy monster. He tried and you have to applaud him. Great team building. He takes a lot of heat for it ... so you have to give him credit for trying. That's what a leader does. He would be the first to tell you it's a bad mustache but I would rather be the best player with the worst mustache than the other way around!
I think the Rangers sweaters for the Winter Classic are the best yet...thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
They are good. I'm not in love with them. I've never liked that crest. I like the name spelled out. They will sell a bunch for sure. The Blackhawks jersey in the Winter Classic were the best ones so far.
When will Alexander Mogilny be up for the HOF, and do you think he is a first ballot player?
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
I would think he is a first ballot guy. A scoring machine and led the league in goals. I think he scored 80 one season. One of the most exciting to play the game so that spells first ballot to me. I'm not exactly sure when he is up for it.
Have the Kings turned the corner with their win over the Sharks>
Barry Melrose (3:21 PM)
I think the Kings are on that road .. Richards is scoring which is good. Kopitar was really having to carry the team. They need two lines scoring. Every team needs that. The Kings should feel good about starting to turn the corner and play like we expected.
thanks barry, i hope youre right ... you brought me from a 7 to a 2 on the panic meter ...
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
Philly is giving up a lot of goals but they are scoring a lot ... this team is going to make the players. Just get Pronger healthy and it's a totally different team.
Dustin (Logan, UT)
How about a Ryan for Stastny swap? It might help both teams get out of the funk they are in.
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
Ryan's name has been mentioned but I can't believe they would trade him. Stastny has been a disappointment for sure. He should be leading them but hasn't do much for a couple years now. I just don't see Anaheim trading Ryan. They both make money so it could technically work .. but I think Carlisle will get some time to turn things around.
Lawrence (Toronto, Ontario)
Are the Wild for real? How exactly are they doing it?!
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
They are doing it with defense and goaltending. They were one of the lowerst scoring teams but they can really shut things down defensively to help them out. They are winning 2-1, 1-0, etc. Harding has been a good push for Backstrom. They have two solid goalies and score just enough win. They are doing it the old fashioned way. Koivu is also playing better but he has to start scoring more.
How long do you think Ray Whitney can keep going at the pace he's going this season with the Coyotes?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
Ray is a lot like Selanne ... still a great skater and a smart player. Total pro in great shape. He looks at things year by year. I don't see retirement on his horizon.
Jackets aren't doing so well.... Any chance Jeff Carter may leave Columbus?
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
No. Carter has a long term contract. He's not very tradable right now because of how he is playing. They have to turn it around with what they have. This is not a good hockey team. They will build around Carter and Nash and hopefully add some pieces next year.
Max Pacioretty (Montreal)
It's definitely Chara's fault I got suspended right? Or at the very least Lucic's for running Miller, because that is what local fans and media think
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
It's Max's fault. Max said a lot of things and made a lot of noise and then goes headhunting. He was a victim for awhile but he has become part of the group that goes headhunting. Only himself to blame for the suspension.
Sal (The Hill (STL))
Barry the Rock Melrose with the Blues posting another impressive victory last night against a Caps team thats verry good at home. With a return of Perron in the lineup and the all around good defensive effort that their showing. Just how dangerous can this Blues team really be?
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
The Blues just beat Pittsburgh and Washington ... pretty big statements. And they did it with so many guys out of the lineup. They are playing as well as any team right now. They really sent a message.
serg (new jersey )
Can Toronto beat the B's tonight.
Barry Melrose (3:31 PM)
No, I don't think so. Boston is playing too well. Boston has two lines scoring right now. They are just playing too well on both ends of the ice. Thanks for logging on. I hope you are enjoying the games as much as I am right now. It's getting good! We'll talk again next week!