Are The Lightning Actually Hiring Barry Melrose?

Welp, there goes ESPN’s entire hockey department. (Maybe.) Barry Melrose is the center of a semi-opaque rumor that he’s going to be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, even 24 hours after his parent company ran a story saying he was “enjoying his life as an ESPN analyst,” that he always gets asked to coach an NHL team every year, and would rather keep his current position in Bristol.

Barry Melrose and the Tampa Bay Lightning

And yet here we are, with Tampa expected to hire Melrose and fire John Tortorella, the man under whom they won a Stanley Cup.

THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Ken Campbell says the hiring would be an epic mistake, considering there have been failures at the GM position, not the coaching position, and Melrose’s career coaching record — over a decade ago — is sub-.500 over a three-year span.

Yeah, it sounds like a flashy yet unwise hire.

But so far there hasn’t been confirmation that the fire-then-hire is actually happening. Which, a salacious rumermongering sports blogger, makes me feel like Tracy Morgan in 30 Rock when the Tina Fey character was about to get in a fight with his wife: “Do I have to fix this situation? I am the immature one! But the both of you, you’re forcin’ me to act like an adult. AN ADULT! Even worse, you’re makin’ me stop two ladies from goin’ at it. But I don’t care.”

So as of now I’ll side with Melrose’s version of the story, that the hire is but a rumor, and won’t really happen.