Listed at 5 feet 5" inches tall, Mel Read lived up to his "Pee Wee" nickname. His small stature certainly didn't keep him from playing hockey. Read made up for his size with his speed. It was this athletic ability that drew the attention of the Canadian armed forces. The Canadian Navy arranged to have him play for their football and hockey teams in 1942. He was so good in football that he played in the military all-star game.
The Detroit Red Wings signed the young centre after the war and assigned him to Dallas. Read managed to place second in league scoring with Dallas and made the USHL All-Star squad with a kid from Saskatchewan, Gordie Howe. Following the season " Pee Wee" he game progresses, the Canadiens were getting more desperate as the Rangers clung to a one goal lead. On one rush Maurice Richard bore down on the Ranger end with visions of scoring the tying goal. As he crossed the blueline Mel "Pee Wee " Read managed to get his hip on the Rocket, sending him sprawling on the ice. Seconds later Read found himself lined up for a faceoff opposite the renown Canadiens. Before the puck hit the ice an elbow sent Read after the disk. Richard had let the rookie know exactly what he thought of the hit.
The Rangers returned #5 to New Haven after the New Year, where he finished with a respectable 40 points in 59 games. For 1947-48, still under contract to the Rangers, he joined St. Paul, of the USHL. Mel was about to return to Quebec Senior hockey when the famous Patrick family intervened. The Patricks convinced the Rangers to turn Read over to their PCHL team in Tacoma, where he played for three season. Read did, finally, return to Quebec Senior hockey to end his playing career. Afterward, he served as a local referee and coach to juvenile players, winning the championships and earning friends along the way.