The Atlanta , Ga. , chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association (PHWA) has nominated Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The annual trophy goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. This is Mellanby’s second nomination for the award following his selection to represent St. Louis , while playing for the Blues in 2002-03.
Mellanby, who is in his 20th season in the NHL, was named the Thrashers’ sixth captain at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. The 39-year old forward reached some memorable milestones this season, including his 800th career point on April 8. In addition, he became the 35th player in NHL history to appear in 1,300 games on October 25. The 6-1, 205-pound forward is currently eighth on the team in scoring with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 71 games.
Off of the ice, Mellanby is actively involved in the community, including his own foundation. He and his wife Susan created the Mellanby Autism Foundation in honor of their son Carter, who was diagnosed with autism in 1998. The Foundation supports non-profit organizations that provide direct care services to families and individuals affected by autism. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction items at this past Saturday’s Autism Awareness Day at Philips Arena will benefit Athlete’s Against Autism, an initiative of the Cure Autism Now Foundation.
“It has been a very exciting year for our team and it’s an honor to represent our club as this year’s nominee for the Masterton Trophy,” said Mellanby. “This means a great deal to me and I’m privileged to be included for consideration along with the representatives from the other 29 teams.”
Mellanby signed with the Thrashers as a free-agent on July 26, 2004 . The Quebec , Montreal native has played in 1,361 career NHL games with Philadelphia , Edmonton , Florida , St. Louis and Atlanta . He has appeared in two Stanley Cup Finals, the first with Philadelphia in 1987 and most-recently with Florida in 1996.
The most recent winner of the Masterton Trophy was Bryan Berard of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 2003-04 season. The winner of the NHL’s Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. The trophy was first presented by the NHL writers in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton. Masterton, who died on Jan. 15, 1968 , was a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.