The Washington Times - December 4, 2008, 03:33PM

Well, that didn’t take long.

Barry Melrose will return as a hockey analyst for ESPN, less than a month after being fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.He’ll rejoin the network on Jan. 1 to help report on the Winter Classic game to be held at Wrigley Field. He will appear regularly on ESPNews and Sportscenter for the rest of the year.

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Melrose had been with the network from 1998 until June of this year before leaving to accept the Lightning job. But his stint in Tampa was short-lived, as he was axed after a 5-7-4 start to the season.

“I am very, very excited about coming back home to ESPN where I have had so many great years,” Melrose said in a release from ESPN.  “I look forward to analyzing people being fired rather than being the guy fired.”