Longtime Canadian sports broadcasting pioneer Ralph Mellanby has passed away at the age of 87.
Mellanby was the creative force behind CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada as its executive producer from 1966 to 1985.
Under Mellanby, the Saturday night broadcast introduced countless innovations in sports broadcasting, including new camera angles in arenas, slow motion replay, telestrators and on-air graphics.
He also produced the memorable Peter Puck children’s cartoon for NBC’s hockey coverage in the 1970s and the long-running Coach’s Corner during CBC intermissions with Don Cherry.
Many sports broadcasters became household names during Mellanby’s two decades on Hockey Night, including Dan Kelly, Dave Hodge, Bob Cole, Ron MacLean, Jim Robson, Howie Meeker and Dick Irvin Jr.
He also produced memorable broadcasts for many high-profile sporting events, including the ‘Miracle on Ice’ at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid in 1980, the Calgary Games in 1988, as well as tennis, golf, Major League Baseball and the Canadian Football League.
His son Scott played over 1,400 games in the NHL and was most recently assistant general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.