Well, That Didn't Take Long...

The Tampa Bay Lightning fired (or, as they say in England, sacked) Barry Melrose after just sixteen games. Lots of people predicted an unhappy ending to this marriage, but it's jarring to see a coach fired so early.
I don't agree with firing a coach any earlier than the midway point of the season. If I were the Lightning's attention-starved new owners, I'd have stuck with Melrose for two main reasons. First, Melrose is just learning the NHL game again after a long time away. When Joe Gibbs returned to the Washington Redskins, he had an awful first year, but it didn't take too long for him to catch up. We'll never know how Melrose would have adapted to the new NHL with more time. Secondly, and more importantly, the Lightning has undergone a ton of change over the past year. Between the eight free agents they added this summer and the three players acquired in the Brad Richards trade, just about half of the Lightning roster consists of new players who haven't learned how to play with each other. That's a tough job for any coach, let alone a coach who hasn't been in the NHL in thirteen years.
It's hard to say what happens with Melrose at this point. Nobody's going to hire him for a head coaching job after the failure of his Lightning stint, and ESPN seems to have moved on with Matthew Barnaby taking over the old Melrose role. The best option for Melrose might be to latch on somewhere as an assistant. He's got a good hockey mind and probably shouldn't have been fired just yet. But the Lightning were last in the league in goals per game and were struggling to stay competitive in an awful division, so the Lightning did what they felt they had to do. After seeing how such a move impacted Washington just one year ago, it's easy to see why they acted now.
So, once again, our world is without Barry Melrose. Which means the NHL Network, now unable to show the Barry Melrose-Carrie Milbank ad, is going to have an awful lot of ad time to fill. "Scouting, scouting... always scouting." Not anymore, Barry. Our reward? More ads for the Iron Gym and Sonic Scrubber. Just what we all need.