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."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.
Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?
The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.
Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.
Final two hours of Dale and Holley with Keefe for a Friday.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss a variety of topics for the first two hours of Freestyle Friday.
We close out the week with another edition of the madness and LAROY!!!!!!!!!!! takes you into the weekend.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?More from this show
Hour 1. Kirk, Gerry and Meter go over the long list of ESPN employees that were let go yesterday, and realize a certain pair of names not on the list. The callers weigh in on the public's influence on ESPN.More from this show
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.More from this show
Hour 3. Kyle Kennedy's lawyer joins K&C to talk about yesterday's press conference . K&C insider Rabbit calls in to talk about the news surrounding Kyle Kennedy.More from this show
Christian Arcand made his triumphant return to K&C and the guys talked about the future of Jimmy Garoppolo.More from this show