Moe Mantha was an offensive-minded defenceman who came in handy with five different organizations in a career that lasted over 650 games. He was a fine quarterback on the power play whose confidence moving up ice with the puck was a boost to his team's transition game.
Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Mantha was chosen 23rd overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1980 after accumulating 94 points in two seasons with the OHA's Toronto Marlboros. During his first three seasons as a pro, the young blueliner toiled mostly in Winnipeg but also saw time in the minors and played for the USA at the 1982 World Championships.
After scoring 54 points for the Jets in 1983-84, Mantha was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the transaction that brought Randy Carlyle to the Manitoba capital. Mantha fit in well on the fast-skating team that was developing around rookie sensation Mario Lemieux. The talented rearguard scored 51 points his first year in Pittsburgh and scored twice while helping the U.S. finish fourth at the 1985 World Championships.
Mantha was a force in 1985-86 with 15 goals and and 67 points, including eleven power-play scores. The Pens posted impressive offensive numbers but did not win a sufficient number of games to reach the post-season. In November 1987, Mantha was part of the blockbuster trade that involved Paul Coffey and Craig Simpson. Before the end of the season, he was shipped to the Minnesota North Stars where he scored nine goals in the last 30 games of the season. He later returned for stints in Winnipeg and Philadelphia and played for the U.S. at the 1991 World Championships and the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Mantha retired after suiting up for one game with the AHL's Hershey Bears in 1992-93.