Today's lesson: Burning bridges via the media

Getting fired from a high-profile job is never a pleasant experience. But true professionals know how to handle themselves throughout the process, market themselves effectively to other organizations in their industries and get their careers back on track.

Lashing out at your previous employer in the media isn't part of the plan. But that's precisely what Barry Melrose did earlier this week. Melrose, who was recently fired after just 16 games as head coach of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, got into a very public war of words with his former employer in a radio interview on Toronto's Fan 590. Here are a few of Melrose's gems from the interview:

"I had guys in Tampa that wanted to run the team and I wouldn't let them....Every day was a constant battle."

"They have guys in charge (now) and they can do what they want. Obviously that's not working out very well either."

And when asked if he was happy to see his former team continue to struggle, he said:

"I'm not going to lie to you, it does. And any coach who says it doesn't is a liar. I hope Tampa Bay doesn't win a game the rest of the year."

It might have been a relief to get that off his chest, but his outburst clearly won't do much to impress prospective employers. If he had taken the high road in the media and put a lid on his controversial comments, Melrose might have had another shot at a coaching position in the future.