NEW YORK - Barry Melrose will return to ESPN as a hockey analyst on Jan. 1.
Melrose, who was fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning last month, will appear on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS. He'll often be paired with analyst Matthew Barnaby.
"I am very, very excited about coming back home to ESPN where I have had so many great years," Melrose said. "I look forward to analyzing people being fired rather than being the guy fired."
Melrose had worked full-time at ESPN since 1996 before leaving in June to accept the Lightning job. He was fired 16 games into the season.
Melrose, who also coached the Los Angeles Kings, was an ESPN studio analyst for the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs and 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs.