ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about the end of the NHL lockout, which he said should be been over a long time ago because the owners were going to come out on top either way.
"I think the owners got what they wanted and what they needed," Melrose said. "Any of us that have been in hockey any length of time knew that was going to happen. The question is why did it take the players all this time to realize it was going to happen. Basically the owners said going in, 'This is what we want,' and once the deadline got close, they got what they wanted."
Added Melrose: "The players are going to get beat. The owners hold all the cards. They players can't go two or three years without a paycheck. Some of those owners could go 10 years without a paycheck. The players just basically when you go into something like this, you've got to put up a fight, you've got to try and get certain things … maybe some pension, input, things like that. But at the end of the day, the owners are going to win every stalemate or every argument between players and owners."
Some of the new rules are more about keeping free-spending owners under control and limiting extremely long, front-loaded contracts than about regulating players.
"It's a nightmare. It's ridiculous. Guys making $12 million the first year, $1 million the last year. I don't think it was good for the sport," Melrose said. "The trouble with everything the owners do is they have to put rules in to protect themselves. That's why they have to have a salary cap, because 10 owners spent way over the cap, and the bottom owners couldn't compete. Now, with this situation, you can't have the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams give these 10-, 12-year contracts, and the poorer clubs, no way they can afford to do it, or if they do it, it's suicide. So again, these rules are put in place to protect the owners from themselves. They always are."
Commissioner Gary Bettman has been the subject of much criticism, but Melrose said he's doing the job he was hired to do.
"Gary's hired by the owners," Melrose said. "He's not hired by the players or the fans. He works for the 30 owners. I think if you talk to the 30 owners, he's done a good job. Revenues went up. It's a major sport now -- 3 1/2 billion dollars in revenues. It's got a 10-year TV contract on NBC. The players have never made more. You've got a franchise now worth a billion dollars, the Toronto Maple Leafs. So, if you look at the owners, you've got to think Gary Bettman's done a great job. If you look at the players and the fans, I think most people would say Gary Bettman is one of the most hated men in sports. But again, Gary does not work me, he does not work for the players, he does not work for the fans. He works for the owners."
Melrose said he does not expect it will take very long for the teams to get into midseason form, and the pressure will be on right from the beginning.
"I coached in '94-95, in the other shortened season, so I'm a little bit of an expert in this," Melrose said. "It's whoever gets out of the gate quickest, whoever stays away from injuries the most. Everything is magnified. Every game basically is a four-point game, because you're basically playing in conference or in division. Whichever team can get their guys in shape the most and the quickest. Whichever team jells the quickest. Whichever goaltender is the hottest at the start of the season. Because if you lose five in a row at the start of the season, you're done. There's no way you can catch up. If you get a seven- or eight-game losing streak in the middle of the season, you're done. If you lose your goaltender for any length of time, you're done. Everything is magnified drastically in a shortened season.
"I like young teams. I like young, big teams. Because obviously young guys are going to be a lot more resilient than a guy 38, 39. Don't forget, you're looking at four games one week, three games the next week. It's going to be a very condensed, tough, physical three or four months for the NHL."
Melrose said the Bruins are one of a few teams that appear to be well-positioned for this season.
"I like the Bruins, all their players are in their prime," he said. "A team like St. Louis, who had such a great run last year. They're a big, physical team. Phoenix, big, physical team, young guys. A team like Edmonton, if they could jell, with that immense amount of talent they have, adding [Nick] Schultz and adding [Nail] Yakupov to that great lineup they had already. Pittsburgh, with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby in their prime, that's going to be very interesting.
"But the Bruins are an interesting team. What's going to happen without Tim Thomas? Is Tuukka Rask ready to accept the mantle of a No. 1 goaltender on a very good hockey team? The Bruins do have a few question marks. They don't have a lot, but they do have a few."
WEEI's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price examine what direction the Patriots might take in the upcoming NFL draft and how the team will go about filing their needs, including replacing Darrelle Revis. Petraglia and Price also take a close look at the Patriots' 2015 schedule and what to expect this season.
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox super utility man Brock Holt, who hit the game winning 3 run home run that propelled the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles, and played some stellar defense to seal the win.
Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
Dale and Michael check in with the Red Sox manager John Farrell for his weekly take on all things Boston Red Sox.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk argue about whether or not Tom Brady's absence from the Patriots' trip to the White House was disrespectful or not.
Led by Christian Fauria, the guys delve into 5 topics relating to all the hometown teams. There is a new intro by a special guest, plus Lou Merloni, DJ extraordinaire, nails the post.
The guys debate whether or not the Celtics even have a chance against the Cavs in game 4 and what the mentality of fans should be.
We check in with Senior White House Correspondent Joe Zarbano on this edition of Aloha Friday
Michael, Jerry and Dale speak with draft guru Todd McShay of ESPN for some insight on what the Patriots might do in the upcoming draft.
We talk to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com and discuss his column on Rajon Rondo from ESPN and ESPN the Magazine.
Dale and Michael discuss some news on deflategate as the 100 day mark approaches us.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Football fans and Fantasy Footballers know that there is NO Offseason in the NFL, so Jim and Pete are back with the first of a series of Fantasy Football Podcasts of the “NFL Draft variety.” Tune in and you’ll get an in depth analysis on Pete’s most first batch of scouting reports on this year’s crop of Rookie Targets. Jim and Pete kick it off with a lot of focus on a Runningback rich draft class, some of the top Wide Receiver talent and touch on the top Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Enjoy!
Uncle Buck joins Chris on the show again to talk about Raw from 4/20, finishing maneuvers and gives a few classic match picks.
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
We listen in on the Patriots Super Bowl visit to the White House, and then discuss why MVP Tom Brady was not in attendance.More from this show
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.More from this show