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 (3:03 PM)
Great hockey game last night between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. One of the best so far this year. Hope everyone was watching.
How worried should I be about Chicago's D?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
Not that worried. They were good enough to win the Stanley Cup last year and they have their top four back this year. Defense is a team commitment, so that is what I'd worry more about. Not the personnel.
Hey Barry! What do you think is the Wings biggest weakness at this point in the season? Thanks!
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
I think they are a very good hockey club. The would love another veteran goal scorer or defenseman but what team wouldn't?
Hey Mr. Melrose what do you think of this? Next years Winter Classic Avs and Kings at Mile High.
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
I think that would be great. I think a game at Mile High Stadium will happen somewhere down the road. It think we will see a game in Michigan, Ann Arbor maybe. I do think that Mile High is on the league's radar.
Hey Barry, it is obviously an extreme long shot but... any possibility at all that Sid can surpass Wayne's point streak of 51?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
No. Gretzky's numbers are way above what anyone else is putting up now. The game is different, much better goaltenders and there is more of an emphasis on defense. Most of Gretzky's records are unbreakable with today's style.
Is Eric Staal one of the eilite players in the NHL?
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
Yes. Point wise, he's not a Crosby or a Stamkos but he's the total package. There's not too many other complete packages in the NHL.
Blackhawks realistic chance of making the playoffs this year?
Barry Melrose (3:11 PM)
I think they will make the playoffs without much talent. That would be a gigantic story, to win the Stanley Cup one year and miss the playoffs the next. They defiantly should be a playoff team.
Scott (South Dakota)
If you HAD to pick right now, do my Penguins win it all? That being said, I can't wait for the New Year's game. Should be a blast.
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
I still like Vancouver. They are a deeper team than Pittsburgh. Philadelphia is one of the better teams in hockey. I like the Bruins a lot as well. Although Pittsburgh is playing unbelievable, I wouldn't plan the parade just yet. I think the New Year's game will be a blast. I'm looking forward to the Alumni game the day before but the New Year's game will be a good one.
Steve (Erie PA)
Marketing Crosby and Ovechkin is definitely a great idea for expanding the NHL into other markets and for garnering more fans, but is too much exposure bad for the dedicated and die hard fans? There are other players in the league...
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
Well the NHL is trying to get new fans. Hockey has the greatest fans in the world, we just need more of them.
Is John Tavares a bust as a #1 pick? I realize it still very early in his career and he has been solid but he hasn't had the impact of other recent #1 picks.
Barry Melrose (3:16 PM)
Too early to tell. He's certainly very skilled but it has been a tough season for him so far. A lot of it is he doesn't have much to play with on the Islanders.
Do the Flyers have the best "D" in the league?
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
I think so. When you can have O'Donnell and Meszaros as your fifth and sixth defenseman. No body has that kind of depth.
Who do you think will win the World Junior Championship in Buffalo this year? Why?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
I think Canada. They win just about every year. Russia and the United State will both be good but this is a very important tournament for Canada.
Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)
Barry, when Crosby and Ovechkin appear on The Price is Right to promote the winter classic, who would win in a game of Plinko? And will Jeremy Roenick cry tears of joy over the outcome?
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
You would think Crosby because he would know the prices more so than Ovechkin. I think Jeremy will stay dry eyed.
I know it wasnt his plan at the start but by not firing MacLean now is Lou tanking the rest of the season for a good draft pick to restock his devils for 2011/12?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
It's tough to do that if you are the Devils because the Islanders are worse. It's hard to spend to the cap and pack it in. The worst thing that can happen to the Devils is that they finish fifth or sixth worst and be terrible and not get rewarded for being terrible.
Doughty had a great game vs Detroit. What will it take to make the voters realize he is a Norris candidate?
Barry Melrose (3:23 PM)
I think people to realize that he is a candidate. He's very well respected and people think of him as the next great defenseman in the NHL.
Hey Barry, It seems as though Ovie has been slowed a bit this year. Is there an injury concern or is it just a slow start?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
I think you have to look at the team as a whole. Ovechkin has 12 goals, Simmons started great but has been cold the last eight games and same with Mike Green. The whole team has been off the last seven or eight games. This is the coldest I've seen Ovechkin since he's come into the NHL.
Which coach, if any, get fired before seasons end?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
The coaches on the hot seat are Bruce Boudreau, Brent Sutter and John MacLean.
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
Hope you continue to enjoy the games they are only getting better.