By Dexter Foley
Barry Melrose face of hockey on ESPN is stepping away to spend more time with his family.
Barry Melrose is stepping away from ESPN after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, colleague John Buccigross shared on X Tuesday.
NEWS:— BucciOT.Com (@Buccigross) October 10, 2023
Barry Melrose has Parkinson's disease and is stepping away from our ESPN family to spend more time with his. I've worked with Barry at ESPN for over a quarter century. Cold beers and hearty laughs in smokey cigar bars. A razor sharp wit, he was always early & looked like a… pic.twitter.com/gjjSAEuG2s
Buccigross praised Melrose for his “razor-sharp wit,” always being on time and looking like a million bucks.
Melrose stood out during his broadcasting career, in large part because of a mullet that became best hair in hockey this side of Ron Duguay’s hall of fame hair.
The 67-year-old Melrose played 300 regular-season games and seven in the playoffs in the NHL, while playing for the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings, while also spending time in the WHA.
His career NHL stats were as throwback as his hairstyle: 10 goals and 33 points and an astonishing 728 penalty minutes.
Barry first began in 1994 with ESPN, securing a desk spot full-time in 1996. Aside from leaving the network to become head coach of the Lightning, Melrose has been the face of hockey on ESPN.