Melrose latest Calder Cup champ to become NHL coach

Barry Melrose has been named the new head coach of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, it was announced at a press conference today.

Melrose, 51, played 248 career AHL games as a defenseman with Springfield, St. Catharines and Adirondack and spent three seasons as head coach of the Adirondack Red Wings, leading the team to a Calder Cup championship in 1992. He later served as the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993.

Melrose becomes the eighth current NHL bench boss with a Calder Cup on his head coaching resume, joining Calgary’s Mike Keenan (1983 – Rochester), Nashville’s Barry Trotz (1994 – Portland), Carolina’s Peter Laviolette (1999 – Providence), Atlanta’s John Anderson (2002, 2008 – Chicago), San Jose’s Todd McLellan (2003 – Houston), Philadelphia’s John Stevens (2005 – Philadelphia) and Washington’s Bruce Boudreau (2006 – Hershey).

In addition, Calgary assistant Jim Playfair (2001 – Saint John) and Columbus assistant Claude Noel (2004 – Milwaukee) both won Calder Cups as AHL head coaches.

Melrose was a teammate of recent AHL coaching graduates John Anderson and Bruce Boudreau with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1980-83. During his 11 years as a professional player, Melrose played 300 career NHL games with Winnipeg, Toronto and Detroit, recording 10 goals, 23 assists and 728 penalty minutes.