RW- Scott Mellanby
Scott Mellanby played for the Panthers 1993-2001.
Scott Mellanby became in many ways the face of the Florida Panthers franchise and was a solid leader that helped bring success to South Florida.
Mellanby has the first goal in the club’s and would score another 29 goals in that inaugural season and a total of 157 goals in his 552 games with the Panthers.
He became an early fan favorite in Florida with his solid and gritty two-way play. He was also the one who created the rubber rat goal celebrations that we still hold dearly to today when he killed a rat with his hockey stick in the team dressing room, spawning the “rat trick” craze, where fans would litter the ice with thousands of plastic rats after each Panthers goal. It was brought to the hockey world’s attention during the Panthers’ run to the final in 1996
The Cinderella run wasn’t followed up by continued on-ice success, and eventually the failures of the franchise in the league would leave fans dejected and frustrated.
Mellanby announced his retirement on 24 April 2007, becoming the first player to retire as a Thrashers captain (the four previous Thrashers captains, were either traded or signed elsewhere via free-agency). Mellanby left the game having played the 3rd most NHL games (1431) without a Stanley Cup victory, only behind Phil Housley (1495) and Mike Gartner (1432). The closest Mellanby came to the cup was when his Philadelphia Flyers lost to Edmonton in the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, 4 games to 3.
The trade of Mellanby in 2001 signaled the end of an era in Florida Panthers history. While his franchise records have since been surpassed (by Olli Jokinen), no one can surpass him when it comes to overall importance to the club, the creating of Panthers folklore, or popularity with the fans.
Scott Mellanby’s Panthers Career Stats
552 GP (No. 3 on club’s all-time list), 157 goals (No. 2), 197 assists (No. 3), 354 points (No. 2)
Do you agree or disagree? What was your favorite Mellanby moment in a Cat’s jersey?
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