Barry Melrose was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning today. As is the custom with such things, the Lightning released a statement about the firing and the selection of a replacement, former associate coach Rick Tocchet. Consider this translation of the highlights a public service...
“This was a tough decision to make. Barry is a good man and we have a great deal of respect for him. We wish him nothing but success."
Translation: "We'd have done this a month ago, but it would have really made Oren, Len, and me look like a bunch of boobs."
"However, the results were unacceptable and the players have to understand that we need to be better. Hopefully this change helps push them."
Translation: "Hey, we can't fire the players. We're in hock up to our eyeballs to pay these losers. We'll just cross our fingers they can win a few games by accident."
“As for Rick Tocchet, we think this is a great opportunity for him and we believe he’s the type of coach who can take the team to the next level. Our players have a great deal of respect for him.”
Translation: "Scotty Bowman wasn't available."
photo: Dirk Shadd/St. Petersburg Times