The only captain the Newfoundland Growlers have ever known is returning to the ECHL team.
The Growlers says defenceman James Melindy has signed an ECHL contract for the 2020-21 season.
The 26-year-old Goulds native has appeared in 90 games for Newfoundland over the team’s first two seasons, including a 2019-20 campaign shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, he has five goals, 29 assists and a franchise-leading 263 penalty minutes in his two years with the team.
"He’s a real big piece of the puzzle here. He’s the bearing the wheel sits on.” — Growlers head coach John Snowden on captain James Melindy
In a team release, head coach John Snowden said he is looking forward to having Melindy back on the ice and in the dressing room.
“He’s the voice of the room, that glue guy that keeps things going,” Snowden said.
“He leads by example. He does all the things we want off the ice. On the ice, he has grown into a shutdown defenceman who embraces his role of killing penalties and being great at it. He is really hard to play against and abrasive. He’s a real big piece of the puzzle here.
“He’s the bearing the wheel sits on.”
◾️O, Captain! My Captain!◾️— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) July 1, 2020
The Newfoundland Growlers have re-signed team Captain and Goulds native, James Melindy.
More info --> https://t.co/Bka9OjawQb#StandOnGuard | #GouldsRulez@Meller43 pic.twitter.com/ZquQEjwHvM
Melindy had been one of three players from St. John’s on the Growlers last season, but forwards Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power have signed to play with a team in Germany next season. It’s part of what is expected to be a significant turnover on a team that still carries the title of ECHL champion from its Kelly Cup run in 2019. That’s because the league’s playoffs were cancelled this spring.
Whatever the look of the Growlers and whenever the new season starts, Melindy says he is anxious to get going.
“I can’t wait to get back to the rink again to start defending our title,” he said in the release.