June 23, 2008
ESPN reports that Barry Melrose will be announced as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, which means he didn't pull a Bill Parcells and allowed his current employer to actually break some news. This was, perhaps, the worst-kept secret in hockey, but it doesn't change the stunning reality that a guy who appeared challenged to put together a coherent sentence on the WWL will be back behind an NHL bench for the first time in over a decade. Good thing nothing's changed in the game since then. (Melrose: "That's a two-line pass, ref! C'mon, are you blind?!")
Earlier today, Mirtle slammed the living crap out of the new Lightning ownership in a rant with which we couldn't agree less. How could anyone take issue with the enthusiasm of Oren Koules and Len Barrie for owning an NHL team? We're talking about guys telling local newspapers they plan on being "in the backyards" of certain UFAs on the morning of July 1. As we said earlier: "We're thrilled that Hollywood producer Oren Koules is breaking into the NHL's stodgy old men club; maybe we should stop with the doubting and just embrace the wackiness of this decision."