The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have acquired 5'10", 200-pound right wing Eric Meloche from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the rights to restricted free agent forward Vaclav Pletka, according to club Assistant General Manager Paul Holmgren.
"Eric Meloche is an extremely hard working player that brings experience and depth into the organization," said Holmgren in making the announcement.
Meloche, 30, recorded eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points and 97 penalty minutes in 57 regular season games for the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, and the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, during the 2005-06 season. He registered seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points and 81 penalty minutes in 47 games for Norfolk and three points (1G,2A) and 16 penalty minutes in 10 games for the Phantoms last season. He was acquired by Chicago, along with Patrick Sharp, in exchange for Matt Ellison and a third round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft on December 5, 2005.
In two seasons with the Phantoms (2004-05 and 2005-06), Meloche recorded seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points and 118 penalty minutes in 73 regular season games. He was signed as a free agent by the Flyers on July 14, 2004. He has appeared in 61 career NHL regular season games over parts of three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2001-02 through 2003-04), registering 17 points (8G,9A) and 32 penalty minutes.
Pletka, 27, played the last four seasons in Europe, including the 2005-06 season in which he appeared in 29 games in the Czech Republic and five games in Russia. Pletka skated in 22 games for Trinec Ocelari HC, tallying 14 points (9G,5A) and 34 penalty minutes and in seven games for Liberec Bili Tygri HC, recording three goals and eight penalty minutes. Pletka also played in five games for the Moscow Dynamo in Russia, registering two penalty minutes.
He was scoreless in one career NHL game as a member of the Flyers during the 2001-02 season. Pletka was drafted by the Flyers in the seventh round (208th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.