The worst kept secret in hockey will finally become official as Barry Melrose will be named head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning at a press conference Tuesday morning. Melrose will take over for John Tortorella who was relieved of his duties earlier this month.
The new ownership group in Tampa is taking an "aggressive" stance and in my opinion seem to be a cross between Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones. While they are being called "a circus" by at least one Canadian hockey journalist, they are certainly adding some spice to what is normally a pretty bland arena. Personally, I kind of like it so far.
While I don't necessarily think that the Lightning will be successful this year, I do look forward to seeing what happens next.
Melrose joins the ranks of the other new coaches in the South.
As mentioned previously, Peter DeBoer was named coach of the Florida Panthers last week. DeBoer last coached at Kitchener.
Atlanta named John Anderson coach just hours before the draft. He recently coached the Chicago Wolves to the AHL title.
Of course Washington coach, Bruce Boudreau joined the Caps while the season was in progress last year, so he has less than a year of NHL coaching experience himself.
The coaching guru of the division should be Peter Laviolette. With his experience, the Hurricanes should be able to out-coach any other team in the division. We will see if experience pays off.