EDITOR’S NOTE: On SportsCenter earlier today, NHL commentator Steve Levy read this copy to introduce this salute to friend and longtime NHL coverage colleague Barry Melrose
The NHL season starts tonight — and here on ESPN we’re getting ready. We’ll be broadcasting hundreds of games, and covering the season on studio shows such as The Point and In the Crease. But this season will be different for all of us here at ESPN—and for all of you who watch us, too, because one of our teammates is stepping away. The longtime captain of the ESPN hockey team, in fact. Barry Melrose. After nearly three decades on the air, Barry, who’s 67, has decided that he is going to focus now on his health. Not long ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. We look back now at a career in hockey unlike any other.
I’ve had over 50 extraordinary years playing, coaching and analyzing the world’s greatest game, hockey. It’s now time to hang up my skates and focus on my health, my family, including my supportive wife Cindy, and whatever comes next. I’m beyond grateful for my hockey career, and to have called ESPN home for almost 30 years. Thanks for the incredible memories and I’ll now be cheering for you from the stands. ~ Barry Melrose