July 12, 1950 |
Montreal, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)|
Chicago Black Hawks
California Golden Seals
Minnesota North Stars
|NHL Draft||70th overall, 1970
Chicago Black Hawks
Gilles Emile Meloche (born July 12, 1950 in Montreal, Quebec) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins. He is currently a special assignment scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had previously served as the team's longtime goaltending coach, winning three Stanley Cups in that position before resigning in 2013.
After playing junior for the Verdun Maple Leafs, Meloche was the 70th player chosen in the 1970 amateur draft by the Chicago Black Hawks. His first professional season was spent mostly with Flint in the International League with a two game stint with Chicago. Chicago was strong in goal with Tony Esposito, so Meloche was dealt to the California Golden Seals, one of the weakest teams in the league. In his first season with the Seals in 1971–72, he recorded a strong goals against average of 3.33 and four shutouts, including one against the league powerhouse Boston Bruins. The Seals' fortunes in the NHL continued to worsen but Meloche continued to play well as the club's number one goaltender. Meloche faced a barrage of rubber directed at the Seals' goal for another four seasons up to the franchise's relocation to Cleveland. Moving to Cleveland for two seasons, Meloche solidly backstopped the Barons with only a slight improvement in the team.
Following the Barons' merger with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978, Meloche was Minnesota's primary goalie and experienced his greatest success. Meloche spent eight seasons with the North Stars, which included two appearances in the NHL All-Star game in 1980 and 1982. Minnesota experienced playoff success as well, with an appearance in the finals in 1981 and the semi-finals in 1980 and 1984. Meloche finished his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing three more seasons before retiring in 1988.
In total, Meloche played in 788 NHL regular season games over 19 seasons with a GAA of 3.64 and 20 shutouts. Largely because of his stint with the dreadful Seals/Barons teams of the 1970s, his 351 losses are the fourth-most in NHL history, only behind Martin Brodeur, Curtis Joseph and Gump Worsley. He appeared in 45 playoff games and registered a GAA of 3.48 with 2 shutouts.
Following his retirement from playing, Meloche served as a Penguins scout from 1989 to 2006 and also doubled as a goaltending coach/consultant during much of that time. He was part of the staff when the Penguins won Stanley Cups in 1991, 1992 and 2009. Meloche and his wife, Sophie, reside in Pittsburgh. His son, Eric, is a professional ice hockey player who played 74 NHL games between 2000 and 2007 for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
- "Penguins goaltenders coach Meloche expected to resign as Fleury ponders future". TribLIVE. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- Pittsburgh Penguins staff. "Pittsburgh Penguins 2010 Media Guide". p. 19. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- "Eric Meloche (b.1976) hockey statistics and profile at". Hockeydb.com. 1976-05-01. Retrieved 2013-12-09.