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Lightning Fires Melrose, Promotes Tocchet

Well, that didn't take long. Sixteen Games to be exact.


The Tampa Bay Lightning have relieved head coach Barry Melrose of his duties and named associate coach Rick Tocchet interim head coach.
The Lightning are in the midst of a three-game slump and are 4-5-1 in the past 10 games, sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

Considering what's gone on in Tampa Bay this season, especially recently, is anyone really surprised by this development?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2008; 4:38 PM ET
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Considering the way teams do business these days, I can't say I'm completely surprised. However, I like Melrose and he was stuck with a bunch of overpaid underachievers. Some of them should have been benched or even traded. That team is stale. Good luck Barry!

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 14, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

HAHA! That's the funny as hell.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 14, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I predicted that Melrose would be shown the door before the Allstar Break due to these now idiot owners impatience. Poor Melrose, poor Tocchet. New prediction: Tocchet won't make it to the Allstar Break because these owners are morons with no patience. The Bolts are rebuilding and have a very weak defensive core. Their best player, Lacavlier, is not fully recovered from serious surgery -- what did these guys expect, oh yeah, to cruise to first in the SE, sorry that the Caps had other plans. TB is now in first for the race to the basement.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 14, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

OMG too funny... we all saw that coming.. all offense no Defense and no goaltending

Posted by: ChiCaps | November 14, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The new Bolts oweners remind me a lot of the younger Danny. They buy the team, make many big spalshes with signings and trades, get the top rookie, sign a well-known name as coach and then show no patience and can the coach before they've played 20 games! I havent seen any bolts games but are they really that bad due to coaching?

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | November 14, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Now let's see how long it takes ESPN to firing that braying jackass Barnaby and put Barry back on the air.

Posted by: Dave_in_Alexandria | November 14, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Two stupid moves don't make a smart one. Both the hiring, and firing, qualify as stupid.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 14, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"The new Bolts oweners remind me a lot of the younger Danny. They buy the team, make many big spalshes with signings and trades, get the top rookie, sign a well-known name as coach and then show no patience and can the coach before they've played 20 games! I havent seen any bolts games but are they really that bad due to coaching?"

Funny how this reminds me of another DC team. Guess what ?
It was not the coaching in DC either.

How fitting, funny how Lawton is partners with Liut, agent for Halprune and other old Caps.

I guess Tampa GM salary needs a little help with a kick-back from Liut.

Posted by: Cheef | November 14, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I saw it coming. Him not being on the ice for their practice a couple days ago seemed to mean more, and with their dumb owners it was only a matter of time. They handed him the keys to a jalopy and asked him to run in the le mans.

The hair deserved better, which is hard to say.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | November 14, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Three stupid moves: Firing the former coach in the first place. He was making lemonade out of lemons with that team as a whole. Good luck to whoever follows in reaching that high-water mark.

Posted by: austinsteve | November 14, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

(the former coach being Tortorella)

Posted by: austinsteve | November 14, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I never been a big fan of Barry Melrose, either as a coach or an analyst, but this move seems a bit sudden. I guess the owners have watched the top of the division drift ever further way and gave in to a sense of panic. That does seem to be in the spirit of the season.

Posted by: rmark1 | November 14, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

thats hilarious! stick with bein an analyst

Posted by: rachel216 | November 14, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they could bring in Hanlon to coach. That would make Olie happy.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 14, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dang. That was quick. It's not advisable for a coach to take a day off when his team is in the midst of a slump. Or anytime for that matter.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | November 14, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I am by no means a Melrose fan but it seems to me that this is a sad commentary on, in some contexts, the state of professional sports. Perhaps it is, as others have said, also a commentary on the ownership. Regardless, the idea that Melrose or, to be clear, ANY coach could transform the Lightning into a first place team overnight is ridiculous. After all, every NHL franchise is working to be in first...

Posted by: lawhky | November 14, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS: Tampa Bay names Patches O'Hoolihan head coach.

"If you can stop a wrench, you can stop a puck!"

Posted by: Murshawursha | November 14, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Next installment of random movie quote trivia (RMQT):

"And if it's nostalgia:
'Oh boy you shoulda seen me back when I was a DA back in Queens'
Let me give you a serious piece of advice, leave it there. God forbid, you're not as good as you remember because I've seen that happen, too"

Posted by: austinsteve | November 14, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Torts cajoleing, brow beating, ranting, and paling didn't work. Melrose tried the same kinds of things. Let's face it. There's no "team" there. Just 21 individual guys. We saw it this past week. Why should they work for Olie's return to the booth? It's not their "special" night.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 14, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny.

Posted by: _jordan | November 14, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

yeah, this is kind of funny. wierd to switch back to an analyst imo. wierd to tell other people what to do if someone can't do it themselves. but then again, there's rush limbaugh telling what to do w/ drug addicts so who knows, i guess he could be back to shoot off his mouth again.

taking the day off from practice was really wierd.


the TB goalies (both) have been pretty solid so far. take a look at save % (except for the caps game).

Posted by: am_jim | November 14, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Tampa Bay doesn't know what they are doing. Unfortunately, the players now know that Tampa Bay ownership and management are stupid: a horrible position to be in.

Hopefully the players will make sure they don't get injured and management picks up fishing....because at this rate the Bolts won't be a force in hockey for the next couple of years.

Posted by: hlalor | November 14, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Poor Tocchet? That's the jerk that was a Cap for all of three weeks, whining the whole time he wanted to be a Flyer (he got his wish in the off-season). And then he really distinguished himself as an assistant coach in Phoenix (or did you forget about the gambling charges?) As an ex-Cap I hold him somewhere below Jagr in the detestable category. Good luck in TB - what goes around comes around, I say.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 15, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

1. Melrose publicly trashed his team after just 2 games. Very bad idea. He forgot that he was the coach, not the analyst anymore. Way to get the players on your side.

2. Tampa owners seem to think that they're running a fantasy team. Matt Carle is a perfect example. A good young offensive D they just got in the off-season has already been shipped out of town.

3. ChiCaps - You showed that you like to talk out of your ass with your comment. Tampa's goaltending has actually been the only reason they're not dead last in the NHL right now. Specifically, Mike Smith has been nothing short of incredible as their starter.

Posted by: ranndino | November 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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