TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Barry Melrose, an NHL analyst and former coach who spent a short time with the Tampa Bay Lighting, is retiring from broadcasting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, ESPN announced on Tuesday.
Melrose coached the Los Angeles Kings from 1992 to 1995, including a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, according to ESPN. He then joined the broadcast booth in 1996, before stepping away in 2008 to coach the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Melrose was the coach of the Lightning for 16 games, according to the NHL.
“Barry is a unique, one-of-a-kind person,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “And hockey on ESPN won’t be the same without him. For nearly 50 years, as a player, coach and broadcaster, Barry’s gigantic personality and trademark style have made our game bigger, more exciting and more entertaining. His love for hockey is obvious and infections. And it is impossible to have a conversation with him without a smile on your face. Barry, we wish you well in this fight and know you will give it everything you have — as you always do.”
Melrose will be spending more time with his family. The news was first announced by his broadcast partner, John Buccigross.