NHL Analyst Barry Melrose Announces Parkinson’s Diagnosis: Barry Melrose, a former NHL player and coach, disclosed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and will be leaving his position as an NHL analyst.
The 67-year-old issued a statement to ESPN on Tuesday regarding the news.
NHL Analyst Barry Melrose Announces Parkinson’s Diagnosis and Retirement from ESPN
He stated,”I’ve had over 50 extraordinary years playing, coaching and analyzing the world’s greatest game, hockey,”. “It’s now time to hang up my skates and focus on my health, my family, including my supportive wife Cindy, and whatever comes next.”
Melrose continued, “I am extremely appreciative to have called ESPN home for nearly three decades and for my hockey career.” “Thanks for the incredible memories and I’ll now be cheering for you from the stands.”
The nervous system is affected by Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder, as defined by the National Institutes of Health. Muscle rigidity, unintended or uncontrollable movements in the hands, arms, legs, or head, as well as challenges with balance and coordination, are among the symptoms.
Generally, symptoms intensify with time, and as the disease advances, individuals may experience walking and speaking difficulties. In addition to cognitive and behavioral alterations, Parkinson’s disease can induce sleep disturbances, depression, memory impairments, and fatigue.
Since 1996, Melrose has served as an Emmy Award-winning hockey analyst for ESPN.
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
— BucciOT.Com (@Buccigross) October 10, 2023
After his retirement and diagnosis were announced, he was showered with an abundance of support from his peers.
“I’ve collaborated with Barry at ESPN for more than twenty-five years,” John Buccigross of ESPN wrote alongside a video tribute on X, formerly Twitter. “Cold beers and hearty laughs in smokey cigar bars. A razor sharp wit, he was always early & looked like a million bucks. I love him. I’ll miss him.”
“With an astounding fifty years of experience as a player, coach, and analyst, Barry has made an indelible mark on the sport both on and off the ice,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN. “We wish him and his family the very best.”
Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL, described Melrose as a “unique, one-of-a-kind individual.”
He stated, “Hockey on ESPN will not be the same without him,” as reported by ESPN. “His enthusiasm for the sport of hockey is evident and contagious.” It is also unattainable to engage in discourse with him while not maintaining a cheerful expression.
“Barry, we wish you well in this fight and know you will give it everything you have — as you always do,” Bettman concluded.