Normally, Barry Melrose is merely a talking head, so his opinions on what happened to cause Bruce Boudreau to be fired by the Washington Capitals are just that: opinions. But Melrose admitted in an interview with "The Mike Wise Show" on 106.7 The Fan that he spoke to Boudreau on Tuesday, so his thoughts are at least coming from a somewhat more informed place.
In Melrose's opinion, Boudreau lost star Alex Ovechkin, and by association the team, when he benched him earlier in the season.
"Bruce lost Alex the night he pulled him and didn't play in the last minute. From that moment on, you look at Alex's numbers and the numbers of the team, they were terrible. I really think that was a turning point in their relationship."
"I really think Bruce and Alex had a great relationship," Melrose continued. "Things started changing when the philosophy changed. It's hard for an offensive player who loves to score goals and stuff to give up some goals to win. And then, when you don't win, the player says, 'See? We should have done it the way I always liked to play.' It's a real tough situation."
Melrose said he felt Boudreau lost Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, and not the entire roster. However, he said losing those two stars was enough to seal his fate. He also said Semin simply is untradeable.
"Where is he going to go? No one wants him. You can't trade him. Nobody wants Semin with that contract and the baggage he comes with. No. That's why you have to get him to play. He's untradeable,"
"I take it back," he cracked later. "The Rangers might have traded Wade Redden for him."