Shocker: ESPN analysts predict Barry Melrose for NHL COY

Tampa Bay doled out their predictions for the 2008-09 NHL Season and here’s a shocker, two of the network/sites analyst have Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose as Coach of the Year. Think the 13-years Melrose spent as a hockey insider on ESPN have anything to do with that?

Granted, Melrose did lead the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, but he hasn’t coached in just over 10 years. And it’s not like he’s going to a team with huge upside, although the Lightning do have a ton of future potential with the drafting of 18-year old center Steven Stamkos.

Melrose inherits a solid offensive club, but he better hope his defense and goal tending situations improve or it won’t matter how many goals his offense produces.

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