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 (3:02 PM)
Thought the Canadians looked good last night. Price is playing as well as I've ever seen him play since coming to the majors.
jordan staal (pitt)
how good am i in the nhl? am i great or very good or good
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
I would say very well but you obviously need to get healthy, Jordan. You are a very good player that will only get better.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that NY Rangers' Sean Avery will be Suspended for Punching Edmonton Oilers' Ladislav Smid in the face?
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
No, I think if he was going to be suspended it would have happened by now. The Oilers have every right to be mad but I don't think Avery will get suspended.
Andy (Sunrise, Florida)
Panthers are playing like an NHL team. It has only taken 10 years. Playoffs this season?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
No, I don't think so. They are playing hard but they just don't score enough and that is there achilles heel. Hopefully they will get very good young players in the draft.
Sully (Harrisonburg, VA)
Will you please explain to me why Garth Snow has not held accountable for the Islanders and a more experienced GM is not put in place. Although they were on a skid, it looked like the Islanders actually had a plan. Now they are back to nothing.
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
I don't agree with the firing of Gordon but if you look at the Islands, they drafted well and they have some pretty good players in the pine line. And a GM usually gets to fired two or three coaches before his job is on the line for I think Garth has some time.
Travis Weaver (Columbus OH) [via mobile]
Hey Barry, what would you say is the biggest surprise thus far into the season?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
How bad New Jersey is, that's one surprise. On the positive side, it would be how well the LA Kings are playing. And if you're looking for a player, Timmy Thomas has been the biggest surprise so far this season.
ExileOnDaytonStreet (Milwaukee, WI)
Any report on what happened during the GM meetings when Paul Kelly (ex-player union chief, current head of College Hockey Inc.) and a group of college coaches came by to discuss early departures of college players?
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
Well I know college hockey in the states have been hit hard by players leaving early but also young players changing there minds and going to junior hockey in Canada. It seems to be becoming a bigger issue every year but when a young player, 18-19 years old has a chance to make a million dollars, it's going to be hard keeping them in college.
Sully (Harrisonburg, VA)
You've always said winning teams have to have good goaltending. I am a die-hard Caps fan and I do not feel good at all about the current goalie situation. Should George look for an experienced goalie by the trade deadline? I really believe Theo should have been kept around for atleast one more year.
Barry Melrose (3:11 PM)
I don't think Washington has the cap space to go get a veteran goaltender. Obviously George feels good about these young kids and thinks they are good enough to take them to the next level.
Barry - I like Shanny's ideas to make the All-Star game and the overall game itself more exciting. What's your feeling about the NHL maybe adapting what baseball has done and awarding the conference winner the home ice advantage in the finals?
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
I'm all for trying anything. The All-Star game is a very tough venue for the NHL. The game is more for advertisers and sponsors but is a terrible watch on TV. So I personally applaud the NHL for trying anything but that would be a very tough sell to get the All-Star game to determine home-ice in the finals.
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Gaborik of the Rangers scored 2 clean breakaway goals in his first game back from injury, yet he never takes a spot in shootouts. This kind of logic is what keeps the Rangers a mess. Your thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:16 PM)
The shootout list is weird. If you look at NJ, they had Kovalchuk shooting fourth the other night. But coaches look at percentages and also hunches when picking the shooters. It is not an exact science. When I was coaching in Tampa Bay, with all the stars I had, I also had Jussi Jokinen go second. I think he's one of the best shootout men in the NHL.
Thomas (Queens NY)
What do you think Of Louis Eriksson-and do the Stars make the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
Louis Eriksson is a great player, he's great around the net. As far as the Stars go, I think if they make the playoffs, it will have been a great year for the Stars.
Gringo Bob (Miami)
The Central looks very close this year. Who do you see coming out on top?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
I think Detroit will win the division but you're right, the Central is a very strong division.
devinbachman (whitmore lake )
why is not jimmy howard on the all stare ballet
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
Every year there are some names missing that should be on. Obviously he should been on, that just means the Detroit fans will have to start a write-in campaign.
Do you think the Kings go out and make a big move sometime this season?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
I think the Kings really like their team and they are playing really well right now. Closer to the deadline, they'll look at their weaknesses and try and add some players. But the Kings won't trade young prospects for high draft picks.
Tom (West Loop)
Barry, not sure what to make of the all star game idea. If you were captain and had a tight conference race, wouldn't you pick your biggest rivals to play in the game rather than allow them to get rest? And determining home ice using the ASG is an awful idea.
Barry Melrose (3:23 PM)
The players will be pre-picked by the NHL. So the pool of players will be preordained. The captains have to pick players from that pool. And the pool will consist of the usually suspects.
So coaches are not for the "coaches challenge", but what is one thing you would like to see changed that you think could be a positive for the NHL?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
I would like to see goaltending equipment shrunk. I like the game the way it is right now but I still think goaltenders have too big of an advantage.
andrew (new jersey)
what is your opinion on Mike Richards comments regarding P.K. Suppan?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
When a player like Mike Richards starts talking about P.K. Suppan, that's great news for Suppan. That means he's getting under the skin of Richards. Last night was a very nasty game at the end and Suppan and Richards mixed it up a number of times.
Barry, what was your take on Avery's antics against Edmonton?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
I didn't like them. Want he did wasn't honorable or honest. He should have fought Smid straight up. I think Edmonton has every right to be upset.
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
We have a lot of games tonight so there should be a lot of good happenings. Talk to you next week.