FROM STAFF REPORTS
The RI Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that Don Mellor has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Malcolm Greene Chace Memorial Trophy recognizing “Achievement and …
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The RI Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that Don Mellor has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Malcolm Greene Chace Memorial Trophy recognizing “Achievement and Outstanding Service by a Rhode Islander to the Game of Hockey”.
The award is named after the Central Falls, RI, native and Hall of Fame tennis player, financier and textile industrialist who in the winter of 1894-95 brought us ice hockey from Canada and is widely considered the “father” of the game in the United States.
The award, generously donated by the Chace family, will be presented by family members during the Hall of Fame’s annual Enshrinement Celebration & Dinner on Saturday, August 20th at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI. The 2022 class of five RI hockey greats will also be formally inducted that evening. Tickets for the event are available now at RIHHOF.com.
Don Mellor, now 101 years young and a former Boston Bruins farmhand, is regarded by many as the “Father of Cranston hockey” and has had a connection to the game of hockey in Rhode Island for most of his life, touching all levels of the sport.
Born and raised in Cranston, Don began skating at age six and recalls first playing hockey with a rubber heal, the closest thing the neighborhood kids had to a hockey puck. He would hone his skills on the city’s frozen ponds.
The values that he acquired on his paper route during the Great Depression – hard work, dedication, responsibility - were those he passed on while organizing and coaching hockey in his hometown. Times were tough. The paper route earned needed money for his family, but the hours left no time for high school hockey until his senior year.
After graduation, his exceptional skills on local amateur teams caught the eye of the Boston Olympics, farm team of the Boston Bruins. He played for the ‘Pics, as they were known, for two seasons before enlisting in the Navy, seeing action in the Pacific theater. When he was discharged, he returned to his two loves – his wife to be, Helen, and hockey, playing for several high level amateur teams, including the famed RI Scarlets.
Over the next four decades he dedicated himself to the most influential chapter of his hockey journey – organizing, coaching and inspiring several generations of RI hockey players, including his sons. One of those sons, Tom, played with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and will also be honored this year as an inductee of the Hall’s “Class of 2022”, along with Bob Bellemore, Harvey Bennett, Jt., Rob Gaudreau and Ralph Warburton.
One of the true pioneers of RI youth hockey, Don’s initiatives included co-founding the storied CLCF hockey program in his hometown in 1955. He found ice time everywhere - on ponds, drained swimming pools, and the precious few time slots at area rinks. He even lobbied fire departments to flood empty lots. And, yes, he found out-of-state tournaments wherever there was opportunity for players to grow against better competition.
For this and so much more he has meant to this great game, the RI Hockey Hall of Fame honors Don Mellor with the Malcolm Greene Chace Trophy for his lifetime of invaluable contribution to RI hockey.
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