Gilles Meloche

Last updated
Gilles Meloche
Gilles Meloche 2012-04-21.jpg
Meloche with the Penguins, April 2012
Born (1950-07-12) July 12, 1950 (age 69)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Chicago Black Hawks
California Golden Seals
California Seals
Cleveland Barons
Minnesota North Stars
Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Draft 70th overall, 1970
Chicago Black Hawks
Playing career 19701988

Gilles Emile Meloche (born July 12, 1950) is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach, scout and former player. Meloche played as a goaltender in the National Hockey League (NHL) 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. Until 2013 he was the team's longtime goaltending coach, during which time the team won three Stanley Cups. [1] Meloche was born in Montreal, Quebec.


Playing career

After playing junior hockey with the Verdun Maple Leafs, and loaned to the Quebec Remparts at the 1970 Memorial Cup, Meloche was the 70th selection in the 1970 amateur draft, chosen by the Chicago Black Hawks. His first professional season was spent mostly with the Flint Generals in the International Hockey League, with a two-game stint with Chicago. The Black Hawks were 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 Boston Bruins, then a league powerhouse. The Seals' fortunes continued to worsen but Meloche continued to play well as the club's number one goaltender. He faced a barrage of rubber for another four seasons, including the Seals' relocation as the Cleveland Barons. For the next 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 there. He spent eight seasons with the North Stars and appeared in the NHL All-Star game in 1980 and 1982. Minnesota experienced success in the playoffs as well, with an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981 and the semi-finals in 1980 and 1984.

Despite leading the North Stars with 32 starts in the 1984-85 season, the 34-year old Meloche was getting a significant push from fellow netminders Don Beaupre and Roland Melanson, who was acquired from the New York Islanders during the season. With his contract up and two much younger netminders under contract, Meloche's rights were traded to the Edmonton Oilers. With Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog firmly entrenched in the Oilers' net, the trade was an odd fit and not surprisingly, Meloche was on the move again without ever playing a game for Edmonton. Prior to the 1985-86 season the Oilers sent Meloche to Pittsburgh in the deal that landed Marty McSorley in Edmonton.

Meloche spent his final three seasons as the Penguins' starting goalie before retiring following the 1987–88 season.

In total, Meloche played in 788 NHL regular season games over nineteen seasons with a GAA of 3.64 and 20 shutouts. Largely because of his stint with the dreadful Seals and Barons, he ranks fourth on the list of goalies with most losses with 351, 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 served as a goaltending coach/consultant during much of that time. He was on the staff when the Penguins won Stanley Cups in 1991, 1992 and 2009. [2] 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. [3]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
1969–70 Verdun Jr. Maple Leafs QMJHL 45267922114.95.88211566543403.12.921
1969–70 Quebec Remparts M-Cup 8444743504.43
1970–71 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 2200120603.00.917
1970–71 Flint Generals IHL 33186610423.3431831103.61
1971–72 California Golden Seals NHL56162513312117343.33.893
1972–73 California Golden SealsNHL59193214347323514.06.885
1973–74 California Golden SealsNHL479335280019814.24.877
1974–75 California Golden SealsNHL4792710277118614.03.877
1975–76 California Golden SealsNHL4112236244014013.44.888
1976–77 Cleveland Barons NHL5119246296117123.47.890
1977–78 Cleveland BaronsNHL5416278310019513.77.887
1978–79 Minnesota North Stars NHL5320257311817323.33.885
1979–80 Minnesota North StarsNHL5427205314116013.06.89711545643413.62.885
1980–81 Minnesota North StarsNHL3817146221512023.25.88913858024703.52.884
1981–82 Minnesota North StarsNHL5126159302617513.47.894412184802.61.908
1982–83 Minnesota North StarsNHL47201311268916013.57.8875233191803.39.882
1983–84 Minnesota North StarsNHL5221178288320124.18.8684122001103.30.875
1984–85 Minnesota North StarsNHL3210136181711503.80.8798433952513.80.902
1985–86 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL3413155198911903.59.881
1986–87 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL4313197234313403.43.881
1987–88 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL2789513909504.10.868
NHL totals78827035113145,3972756203.64.885452119246414323.48.889


1982 Canada WC 53202991613.21

"Meloche's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-09-22.

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  1. "Penguins goaltenders coach Meloche expected to resign as Fleury ponders future". TribLIVE. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins staff. "Pittsburgh Penguins 2010 Media Guide" (PDF). p. 19. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. "Eric Meloche (b.1976) hockey statistics and profile at". 1976-05-01. Retrieved 2013-12-09.