Isn't it time Barry Melrose stopped bad-mouthing the Lightning? It doesn't seem to serve a purpose other than to maintain the perception he was the injured party in the former Tampa Bay coach's messy breakup with his employer.
His argument as to why he is so willing to pile on — he is a media personality, again, and if someone asks about the Lightning, well, he feels obligated to answer — is weak as well.
Barry, please just say no.
Melrose obviously believes he has legitimate gripes — being fired after 16 games, not feeling as if he was supported by ownership and management. But the grievances have been aired, and he is beginning to sound petty.
Really, it is enough.
Don't misunderstand. Melrose hurling accusations last week and the Lightning firing back — owner Len Barrie characterized Melrose's handling of the job as "total negligence" — made for entertaining stories in an otherwise desultory part of the season. But it's a month today that Melrose was fired, and if he would not tweak the Lightning, the organization would not feel compelled to respond.
So here's the deal.
Melrose, who, by the way, is collecting his entire $2.25-million contract for two months' work, takes the high road the next time some radio station looking for a cheap thrill asks about Tampa Bay.
No, sorry, he will say, it's done now. It's time to move on. Besides, he will say, now that I am again an ESPN analyst — a journalist, one could argue — I must fairly judge what I see on the ice and it does me no good to come across as blatantly biased.
Besides, when it comes to the Lightning, that perception already is clear.