I will put it out there right now: I don’t care much about hockey in general. But Barry Melrose made me care.
Whether he was calling a game or analyzing games in the closing moments of SportsCenter, I loved the mulleted man.
Melrose was the best analyst in any sport.
He was simply a joy to listen to. And no matter what he was talking about it was entertaining and more educational than any other analyst.
Hockey is a sport in the United States that has begun to fall behind the other big four national sports in recent years. And in accordance, ESPN dedicated less and less attention to it, but still Melrose was there in the studio doing his thing and giving life to hockey.
And if the three minutes he was given during SportsCenter was not enough (it never was) there was always the Melrose Line—one of two podcasts I was willing to listen to week-in and week-out.
Melrose and his savvy commentary and incredibly deep knowledge will be sorely missed by hockey fans and non-fans alike.
Tampa Bay got a steal when they brought Melrose in. He has a genius mind for the game of hockey and with talent like Vincent Lecavalier, No. 1 pick Steve Stamkos, and Martin St. Louis, look out.
I am not predicting Stanley Cup the first year—or any year for that matter—but I do know that the Lightning are a lucky team and fans of the NHL everywhere will sorely miss his witty commentary.