Defenceman Tom Manastersky played six games with the Montreal Canadiens in 1950-51. His strength was utilizing his stocky frame to punish enemy forwards and providing a physical presence all over the ice.
Born in Montreal, Manastersky played several years with the junior and senior Royals in his home town. He was known as a relentless competitor who routinely out fought larger opponents.
When the Habs battled a few injuries on the blueline in 1950-51, Manastersky was called up for a half dozen NHL contests. He was a eventually returned to the minors where he spent most of his time with the Victoria Cougars of the PCHL before retiring in 1951.
Since entering the NHL in 1997-98, Centre Patrick Marleau has shown flashes of brilliance while refining his consistency and defensive play. His playmaking skills and natural touch around the net were evident in his amateur career but he struggled to get open at times in the tight checking of the big leagues.
Born in Aneroid, Saskatchewan, Marleau notched 167 points in 53 games for the AA Swift Current club in 1993-94 before moving up to the Saskatchewan junior loop and the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds. Marleau was the second player chosen in the 1997 Entry Draft after Joe Thornton. His 51 goals and immense potential attracted the San Jose Sharks and he earned a spot on the roster at his first training camp.
Marleau recorded 32 points and was a responsible defensive player as an NHL rookie in 1997-98. He gradually saw more ice time and recorded his first 20-goal season in 1998-99. Still, he was unable to produce consistently and was less known behind other Sharks stars as Owen Nolan, Teemu Selanne and Mike Ricci. Late in the 2001-02 season the enigmatic forward got hot and his strong play carried over into the playoffs as he helped San Jose reach the Western Conference semifinal where they lost a tough series to the Colorado Avalanche.