Thread: MLD 2011 Bios
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07-20-2011, 10:00 AM
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RW Scott Mellanby

A combative right-winger with an above average scoring touch, Scott Mellanby entered his 19th NHL season in 2002-03. Over the years, he reached the 20-goal mark eight times and was valuable team leader who often played his best hockey in the post-season. He came by his love of the game honestly as his father, Ralph, was the executive producer of "Hockey Night In Canada" for 19 years.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Mellanby starred in Toronto with the Don Mills Flyers and Henry Carr Crusaders. After being chosen 27th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, he joined the University of Wisconsin for two seasons. Following the 1985-86 college season, the young winger turned pro and played two games with the Flyers at the end of the season.

The hard-working youngster scored eleven goals and played solid defensive hockey under Mike Keenan in 1986-87. He also contributed ten points when the club reached the Stanley Cup finals that spring. Mellanby's scoring touch and diligent effort all over the ice made him one of the Philly's top players. In August 1989, he suffered a major setback when he suffered severe nerve and tendon damage to his forearm while coming to the aid of a friend in a barroom incident. He recovered to play two-thirds of the 1989-90 season but was not the same player.

On May 30, 1991, Mellanby was involved in a multi-player deal with the Edmonton Oilers that saw veteran Jari Kurri end up in Philadelphia. The robust forward scored 82 points over two years with the Oilers and helped Edmonton reach the semi-finals in 1992. After the Florida Panthers claimed him at the 1993 Expansion Draft, Mellanby became a regular with the club for seven and a half years.

Mellanby scored 30 goals for the Panthers in 1993-94 and helped them set a new NHL record for an expansion club with 83 points. Two years later, he was an offensive and emotional leader on the young club when it marched all the way to the Stanley Cup final. During this time, he inspired the fans' tossing of toy rats on to the ice after he killed a stray rodent with his stick in the club's dressing room. As the team struggled in the late 1990s, the classy veteran continued to battle. In February 2001, the powerful St. Louis Blues acquired him as they readied themselves for the playoffs. Mellanby scored three goals while helping the club reach the Western Conference championship.

Injuries plagued Mellanby's 2001-02 season, limiting him to 64 games. In 2002-03 he returned to form scoring 26 goals and 57 points while racking up 176 minutes in penalties before signing as a free-agent with the upstart Atlanta Thrashers in the summer of 2004.

As a member of the Thrashers, Mellanby would be named Captain in only his second season with the club. That season he would help the Thrashers reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, only to be swept in four games by the New York Rangers.

Following post-season elimination Mellanby officially retird from the game on after 1,431 regular-season games.
career stats:
1431 games played, 364 goals, 476 assists, 840 points, 2479 penalty minutes
136 playoff games played, 24 goals, 29 assists, 53 points, 220 penalty minutes
broke the 20 goal mark 8 times, 30 goals twice
7 seasons with over 50 points, including a career high 70 with the Panthers en route to the 96 Stanley Cup Final

G Arturs Irbe

Originally Posted by legends of hockey
Irbe was among the first wave of players from Communist countries who were finally allowed to leave their homeland to play in the NHL. He was drafted 196th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1989, testament to the team's belief that he might never see North America. Indeed, it was not until two years later that he left Dynamo Riga to play for the San Jose Sharks, which had selected him in the Dispersal Draft of 1991. He had been with Riga for five years, from Rookie-of-the-Year to number one goalie, but when the 24-year-old reached the NHL he knew he had made the big time.

The Sharks were an expansion team, and Irbe spent most of his first year with Kansas City in the IHL, coached by eventual San Jose coach Kevin Constantine. By 1993-94, Irbe was the number one goalie with the NHL team and his impact on the team was unquestionable. He played a then record 74 games and 4412 minutes and led the team to an improbable run in the playoffs. They eliminated the Cup contending Detroit Red Wings in game seven right at the Joe Louis Arena, and in the next round took Toronto to seven games before losing in overtime at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The summer of 1994 saw near tragedy visit Irbe. Back home in Riga he was doing sit-ups one day next to his sleeping dog. At one point he nudged the animal, which woke up and went berserk, tearing and ravaging Irbe's hands and forcing him to go to the hospital. He suffered extensive damage to the tendons and nerves in his hands, and his career was threatened.

The lockout gave him a greater opportunity to recover, but even six months later he still had trouble gripping his stick. His confidence began to wane and of course his play suffered as a result. The playoff performances against Detroit and Toronto in 1993 were to be the best Irbe would do with San Jose. The team faded in the next two years, and his weaknesses were beginning to overshadow his strengths. He was a small goalie who relied on quickness and agility, and these were qualities all his coaches recognized.

A free agent, he signed with the Dallas Stars for 1996-97, but when the Stars pursued Ed Belfour he was let go. After another middling year with Vancouver playing behind Garth Snow, he signed with Carolina and his career underwent an impressive resurgence. He had an impressive 27-20-12 record in 1998-99 and led the team to a division championship before losing to Boston in the first round of the playoffs.

Internationally, Irbe was one of the main reasons Latvia earned a promotion from "B" pool of the World Championships in 1996 to "A" pool in 1997 . Upon being promoted to the "A" pool in 1997, Irbe has gone on to represent his homeland at the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005 World Championships and saw his first Olympic action for Latvia in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Irbe has gone on to play six seasons with Carolina and was instrumental in leading the team to their first Stanley Cup appearance in 2002, only fall to the Detroit Red Wings. In 2002-03 Irbe and the Canes' were unable to repeat their exploits from the previous year and he would play only 34 games during the season while also suiting up for the AHL's Lowell Lock Monsters after he cleared waivers midway through the season. Entering his sixth season with the franchise in 2003-04, Irbe split the year with ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs and Carolina, before being acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the summer of 2004.
1984-85 EJC U18 Best Goaltender
1987-88 RSL Rookie of the Year
1988-89, 1989-90 World Championship Gold
1989-90 World Championships Best Goaltender
1991-92 IHL First Team All Star
1993-94 All Star Game
1998-99 All Star Game
2010 IIHF Hall of Fame Inductee

Regular Season: 568 Games Played, 218-236-79, 2.83GAA, .899%
Playoffs: 51 Games Played, 23-27, 2.86GAA, .902%
5 times top 10 in shutouts (3,4,6,5,6)

Originally Posted by USA Today, May 24th, 2002
Time is running out for the Toronto Maple Leafs to solve Arturs Irbe. The Latvian goaltender of the Carolina Hurricanes is just 5-foot-8, but his unique stand-up style has played a big part in frustrating Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals. The Maple Leafs, the top scoring team in the East during the regular season, are on the brink of elimination heading into Game 5 Saturday night, having scored just four goals in four games against Irbe. "He's been one of the toughest goalies to play against," Alexander Mogilny said. "His style is so different. You are used to seeing NHL goalies play butterfly. This guy kind of goes right at you with those two white pillows."

Irbe stopped 31 shots in a 3-0 victory at Toronto on Thursday night, almost single-handedly giving the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. So far, Irbe has turned away 99 of 103 shots against the Maple Leafs and has a goals against average of 1.51 and save percentage of .943 in 11 postseason games.

"With the game that he played he had some of them shaking their heads," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said Friday at practice.
Originally Posted by The Desert News, April 28th, 1994
Thanks to Arturs Irbe the San Jose Sharks aren't playing like an expansion team.
Originally Posted by Toronto Star, May 2nd, 1994
Arturs Irbe tilted his head back against a wall in the Sharks' dressing room, smiled at his questioner and said, "Unbelievable."

Irbe's best night of the post-season helped the Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and moved them into the second round of the NHL playoffs. He stopped all 11 Detroit shots in the final period, including one in front of the goal in the last 30 seconds after the Red Wings pulled their goalie, Chris Osgood.

The Sharks seemed to know they could rely on Irbe.

Last edited by DaveG: 07-24-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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