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Thrashers' captain Mellanby expected to announce retirement @NHL

ATLANTA (AP) -Atlanta Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday.

The Thrashers have scheduled a telephone news conference for the 40-year-old Mellanby and general manager Don Waddell for Tuesday morning. A team spokesman said Mellanby's future with the team will be discussed.

Mellanby had 12 goals and 24 assists in his 21st season, helping to lead the Thrashers to their first playoff berth. It was the 17th time the right winger collected at least 30 points.

The Thrashers were eliminated from the playoffs in four straight games by the New York Rangers.

Mellanby spoke of his probable retirement after the playoff loss.

"I want to take a couple of days to be sure, but I'm 99 percent there," Mellanby said.

"I still feel like I can play the game. It's all the outside stuff, the training, the preparation. I don't think I'm prepared to go through that again."

The Thrashers have only eight players on their roster signed for next season.

They have 13 unrestricted free agents, including centers Keith Tkachuk and Eric Belanger, wingers Slava Kozlov and Pascal Dupuis, and defensemen Greg de Vries and Andy Sutton.

After the loss to the Rangers, Waddell said the team will be younger next season, with forwards Bryan Little, Brett Sterling and Colin Stuart thought to be ready for the move up from AHL Chicago.

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