At Critical Bench we have introduced you to WWE Wrestlers, Ultimate Fighters, Experts in the industry, exercise inventors, strongman competitors, champion bodybuilders, the largest athletes on the planet and professional athletes. However, we have never really interviewed an athlete who was a professional coach, broadcaster and athlete all in one package. Well, there is a first time for everything and I have just interviewed the legend from ESPN Barry Melrose. Barry has been a professional athlete, coach, manager and an announcer all in one life time. In a persons life, if someone can become a pro athlete, win a title as a coach, or be a broadcaster, make a lot of money, then many people can call it a dream that came true. As only one in millions can accomplish one of those dreams. Barry Melrose is a different story though. He made it to the NHL, the grand-daddy of hockey. As he played against greats like Gordie Howe.
Then Barry coached the Adirondack Red Wings to winning the Calder Cup Championship. After that, he took the LA Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals and coached the legend Wayne Gretsky. After coaching Gretsky he became a broad caster for ESPN. Not only has he had a lot of success, but he has been a great friend of mine for years as well. Although this interview was designed for www.youthhockeyonline.com , at critical bench I created our own version. As you will see, Barry is quite the man in many facets. He succeeds when he takes challenges and he finds meaning in everything he does away from the game. After all, who other than Barry can say that they have hit the epitome of coaching, playing and broadcasting all in one life time? After experiencing an epiphany after epiphany, Barry took himself to the top and did all he could once he was there. So, let's step into the mind of the great one, as I bring to you the superstar and my good friend, Barry Melrose!
1. Critical Bench: Hi Barry, Welcome to www.criticalbench.com ! This is a website to help lifters achieve a bigger bench press, improve their overall strength, physique, athletic ability, confidence and life. You were a pro athlete and coached the LA Kings all the way to the Stanley Cup Championships, which is the Super Bowl/World Series/ Woodstock and the pinnacle of hockey. How did you train your players of the LA Kings to get to that point?
Barry Melrose: Most training is in the summer. During the season there is
not a lot of time to train. In the summer we do lots of bike, lots of trunk,
but not a lot of heavy weights. Some guys go heavy, but we mostly use
weights for strength and conditioning. We use the bike routines to get the
heart rate up to a certain level and keep it there for 20 minutes. During
the hockey season most of our workouts were after a game. We would ride the
bike when our muscles were tired. That's when it was the best.
2. Critical Bench: How did your hockey career begin? And why did you choose to be a professional all star in the game of hockey?
Barry Melrose: In Canada you grow up to play in the NHL. It's the big thing.
I have always loved the game, I still love it and I was lucky enough to make
a living out of it. I wanted to play since I was 5 years old.
3. Critical Bench: Tell us about your 1993 Road to the Cup?
Barry Melrose: We faced a lot of adversity all season. The adversity that
we had to face made us stronger mentally and we came together as a group.
Then as March came we played unbelievable hockey for 3 months
4. Critical Bench: Tell us about your experiences being on ESPN?
Barry Melrose: ESPN is a great company to work for. You take for granted how
many people watch ESPN. No matter what bar or restaurant you go to they have
ESPN. It's great that I made it big and I feel very fortunate.
5. Critical Bench: What was it like playing in the NHL?
Barry Melrose: It was a great life long dream. I played in the buildings
that I grew up in. I played against greats like Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull.
6. Critical Bench: Out of all of your dream experiences which one was the best out of coaching the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Calder Cup Finals, playing in the NHL, and being a Broadcaster on ESPN?
Barry Melrose: Playing in the NHL!
7. Critical Bench: What was your favorite moment in the NHL?
Barry Melrose: My favorite game as a player was my first game as a Toronto
Maple Leafs and my favorite moment as a coach was game 7 when we beat
Toronto in 93.
8) Critical Bench: You have been through a lot to get to where you are at today. Out of everything that you were ever told, what was the best advice that you were ever told and what was
Barry Melrose: The best was when my grandfather would tell me to be the
hardest worker on the ice. The worse was when a buddy said "go ahead and
drive" after a graduation. I wrecked my car.
9) Critical Bench: There is a lot of prestige to play in the NFL. What would you consider to be the 5 best things about being in the NHL?
Barry Melrose: 1) The people you meet
2) We live in great cities
3) It's been good for my kids to travel
4) The $$$
5) The big accomplishment of getting there.
10) Critical Bench: How has the game of hockey changed since you were an NHL
Player? And how do you see the future of the NHL and what do you hope to
Barry Melrose: The players can't get much bigger but they will be better
trained, better fed and more skilled. I think that the NHL needs to create
more scoring and a way for our great skilled players to showcase themselves.
We must make the goalies smaller and call all obstruction penalties from the
first game to the last.
11) Critical Bench: Being associated with the NHL and professional sports for so
long, what is it like being on the road all the time?
Barry Melrose: It's tough. It looks glamorous, but it's hard. It's tough
being away from your family.
12) Critical Bench: What do you feel has been the most interesting story that you experienced
during your NHL journey?
Barry Melrose: We were in Philadelphia and we were snowed in. Nothing was
moving and we were supposed to be stranded for 3 hours, then the guy that
runs the snow plow came up to us and said "if you sign my Gretsky stick,
I'll plow you out". Then he plowed it, we instantly flew out and we were
there in 30 minutes.
13) Critical Bench: Barry, I am going to say a name. Tell me what comes to mind.
Coaching Wayne Gretsky- Greatest
Critical Bench: Information Galore. The best strength, muscle and athletic site in the world.
Bobby Hull- Character
Gordy Howe- Class
Ray Bourque- Fulfilled
Cindy Melrose- Beautiful
Plyometrics- Hate them
Patrick Roy- The best
Mario Lemiuex- The most talented
LA Kings- Great Team
Pat Conacher- Hardest worker ever in the game
Ice Hawks (the team you manage)- De-funked.
Your kids Ty and Adrian- Ty and Adrian are the most important people in my life because they are very different and it makes life very interesting for me.
14) Critical Bench: Thanks Barry. Being the reporter, I'm going to give Barry a
rest and let's meet his wife Cindy for a moment. Let's get the inside scoop
and see what she has to say. So, Cindy, where did you and Barry meet?
Cindy Melrose: We met in Cincinnati Ohio . I was a cheerleader and he was a
hockey player and eight months later we were married!
15) Critical Bench: Cindy, what is the best thing that Barry has ever done for
Cindy Melrose: The best thing that he did for me was surprised me during my
40th birthday party. He also takes me traveling a lot which I love.
16) Critical Bench: Cindy, tell readers 10 inside secrets about Barry
Cindy: 1. He really thinks that he is good at golf.
2. He is a history buff that loves westerns
3. He loves being home with his dogs and his family
4. He isn't as mean as he looks.
5. He is an all around sports buff. He knows a lot about every sport.
6. He has some great suits.
7. He likes a good cigar.
8. When he is coaching, it's like living with a dead man walking.
9. He uses lots of gel
10. He loves doing Miller Lite commercials and drinking the beer.
17) Critical Bench: Thanks, Cindy it was an honor talking to you. From the Critical Bench Team, I'm at a party right now, and it's getting wild here. Sexual jokes, noise, attitude and things that must be disclosed here are going on, hahaha! It's fun though. So, now I want to introduce you all to Chris Finnerty. Chris has played for Barry and with my younger brother Dan, 22, years back. They went to States during the Youth Hockey Days. He is one of the hardest workers that I have ever seen and filled with bravery, strength and heart. So, Chris, you have your moment of fame, fire your question away, you're in the spot light, ask your question. Chris Finnerty: Barry if you could fight anyone in Professional hockey who would you fight and not want to fight?
Barry Melrose: I'd fight Marty St. Louis and I would not want to fight
George the Rock.
18) Critical Bench: Great question, Chris. We thank Chris for taking part. Barry, it must have been fun meeting lots of stars before. So, can you tell us about the great people that you have met being a star?
Barry Melrose: I have met some great people, here is a list. Ronald Reagan,
John Candy, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Garth Brooks, Kate Hudson (that's for
you Ben), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Mcgwire and many more.
19) Critical Bench: Barry, millions of people want to be the next big star. What message would you like to send to all of the athletes in the whole wide in order to conquer their dreams from now to the future?
Barry Melrose: You need drive. It's gotta eat you up. You get out what you
put in. If you put in nothing then you will get nothing. If you put in tons,
then you will get tons out.
20) Critical Bench: Is there anything else you would like to tell everyone reading
Barry Melrose: I think Mr. Ben Tatar is the next Bob Costa's in Sports
Broadcasting in sports today.