In yesterday's entry, we reviewed often demonized defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (471 games, 53 goals, 150 assists). In today's story, we'll check out former all-star right winger Scott Mellanby and the eight seasons he spent with the Panthers.
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Mellanby, a 6'1" right winger from Montreal, Quebec, spent his formative hockey years with the Don Mills Flyers (72 games, 66 goals, 52 assists) and the Henry Carr Crusaders (39 games, 37 goals, 37 assists) of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. After getting selected in the second round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers (27th overall), he decided to attend college. He spent two seasons with the University of Wisconsin Badgers (72 games, 35 goals, 47 assists). After departing, he joined the Flyers for two games late in the 1985-86 season.
Mellanby would spend five full seasons with the Flyers after his debut (355 games, 83 goals, 114 assists), adding nine goals and 11 assists in 50 games through three Stanley Cup Playoff tournaments. He was part of the 1987 Eastern Conference championship team that lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the finals, four games to three. After the 1990-91 season, he was traded to the Oilers with Craig Berube and Craig Fisher for Dave Brown, Corey Foster, and Jari Kurri.
As a member of the Oilers, Mellanby racked up 38 goals and 44 assists over 149 regular season contests. He played in 16 more playoff games in 1991-92, scoring two goals with an assist. The Oilers left him unprotected for the 1993 Expansion Draft, where the Panthers were all too happy to pick him up.
On October 6, 1993, Mellanby scored the Panthers first ever regular season goal in a 4-4 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks. He went on to score in five of his first six games (three goals, three assists). From November 3rd to December 12th, he scored 18 points in 17 contests (eight goals, 10 assists). He had 12 multi-point efforts over the course of the season, including a season high three (two goals, one assist) in an 8-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on January 24th. In a Panthers fourth best 80 games, he led the Panthers with 30 goals (on 208 shots) and with 60 total points. His 30 assists ranked second on the team. He finished the season second on the team with 149 penalty minutes and an even rating.
1994-95 would see Mellanby appear in all 48 games in the strike shortened regular season, one of five Panthers to do so. He ranked second on the club with 13 goals (on 130 shots), pitching in 12 assists. He also rated second on the team with 90 penalty minutes. His minus-16 rating was the lowest mark on the club. On April 22nd, he scored a season high three points (one goal, two assists) in a 4-2 Panthers win over the Quebec Nordiques.
Mellanby had his best NHL season in 1995-96. He was selected to his only all-star game, and led the eventual Eastern Conference Champions with a career best 32 goals (on 225 shots) and a career high and team second best 38 assists. He had a plus-4 rating and a team second 160 penalty minutes. He started out the season on a tear, with 13 points in Floida's first eight games (eight goals, five assists). Later, he scored 23 points in 19 games from November 16th through December 30th (12 goals, 11 assists). He had a team high 19 multiple point games that year, including two three point games. In the playoffs, Mellanby added three goals and six assists in 22 playoff games. On May 18th, he scored a goal and two assists as the Panthers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Championship.
In 1996-97, Mellanby set a career high by being one of only two Panthers to skate in all 82 games. He ranked second on the club with 27 goals (on 221 shots) and with 56 total points. He also rated third on the team with 29 assists and with 170 penalty minutes. He had eight two-point games, three three-point games, and one four point game (one goal and three assists) in a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The Panthers made the postseason for the second season in a row, and Mellanby had two assists on April 17th in a game one victory over the New York Rangers, 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. He would not score through the next four contests, all losses as the Panthers were eliminated in five.
With the departure of original captain Brian Skrudland, Mellanby would start his reign as Florida's captain with the advent of the 1997-98 season. He ranked third on the team with 79 games played and with 15 goals on 188 shots. He placed fourth on the club with 24 assists, 39 total points, and with 127 penalty minutes. He wrapped up the season at minus-14. He dished out four assists on November 26th as the Panthers smoked the Boston Bruins, 10-5.
1998-99 would see Mellanby score more than one point on 10 occasions, including both Florida goals in a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 27th. He would appear in only 67 games, ranking fourth on the club with 85 penalty minutes, a plus-5 rating, and with 45 total points (ranking fifth on the team in goals and assists, with 18 and 27, respectively). His 16:14 average time on ice ranked fourth amongst the Panthers forward corps.
In 1999-00, Mellanby averaged 14:51 over 77 contests for Florida. He ranked fourth or fifth in every category, including 18 goals (on 134 shots), 28 assists, 46 total points, a plus-14 rating, and 126 penalty minutes. On December 27th, he scored two goals with an assist in a 6-1 Florida win over the Lightning, one of 11 games in which he scored more than one point.
2000-01 would see Mellanby score four goals and nine assists through 40 games with the Panthers. Florida sent him to the St. Louis Blues for the rights to Dave Morriset and a fifth round pick (Vince Bellissimo) on February 9th.
Mellanby spent the rest of the season (and the next three) as a member of the Blues. He scored a total of 62 goals and 75 assists in 235 regular season contests. He would pitch in 10 goals and eight assists in 35 playoff contests for the Blues. After losing 2004-05 to the lockout, Mellanby joined the Atlanta Thrashers for two more seasons (140 games, 24 goals, 46 assists).
Mellanby was one of the last of a dying breed, a skill guy who wouldn't mind throwing down. In each of his seven full seasons in Florida, he ranked on the Panthers top five in goals, assists, and penalty minutes.
All-Time Statline: Eight seasons (fourth all-time), 552 games (fifth all-time), 157 goals (second all-time), 197 assists (fourth all-time), 354 points (third all-time), minus-13 rating, 953 PIM (third all-time), 36.5 APS.
Thanks for stopping by for another entry in our exclusive every-Panther countdown. Come back tomorrow for a center from Toronto, a guy who should pretty swiftly move up this list with one more season.