Barry Melrose, a knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic hockey analyst, rejoined ESPN on January 1, 2009, coinciding with the NHL’s Winter Classic game, held at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Melrose appears regularly on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS. He and Steve Levy have reported from every Stanley Cup Finals since 1994.
Melrose left the network in June 2008 to accept the Tampa Bay Lightning head coaching job. His first full-time stint with ESPN began in October 1996. From 1996 to 2002, Melrose also called regular-season and playoff games for ESPN and ABC Sports (2000-02). From 2003 to 2004, he provided studio analysis for ABC Sports’ NHL telecasts. He had also previously worked as a studio analyst for ESPN’s Emmy Award-winning 1994 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and for ESPN and ESPN2 during the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Prior to joining the network in 1996, he was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1992 to April 1995. In his debut season, his team advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Melrose began his coaching career in 1987 when he led the Medicine Hat Tigers to the WHL’s Memorial Cup Title. He also coached the Seattle Thunderbirds for the 1988-89 season and the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League for three seasons (1989-92). Melrose guided the Red Wings to the Calder Cup championship in 1991. He also served as the team’s General Manager during his final two seasons.
During his 11 years as a player, Melrose played 335 career games as a defenseman in the NHL with Winnipeg, Toronto and Detroit (1979-86). He also played three seasons with Cincinnati in the WHA (1976-79).
In 1999, Melrose played himself in the movie Mystery, Alaska, a story about a small town hockey team’s big game against the New York Rangers. In 2001, he was a guest on an episode of the ABC comedy Spin City, in which he also played himself. In January 2004, Melrose and ESPN commentator Steve Levy became part-owners of the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League.
In March 1998, the native of Canada was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.