Melanson would only get into five NHL games with the Sabres, but became a popular player with the Sabres AHL affiliate in Rochester. Melanson played parts of seven seasons in Rochester and matured from a tough guy to a very dependable defender.
In 1999 Melanson departed for the Philadelphia Flyers organization, but was traded near the end of the season to the Washington Capitals. The move was good for Melanson, who was rewarded for all of his years mucking and grinding in the minor leagues when the Caps gave him a 4 game call-up to the NHL in 2001-02.
The following season Melanson was traded to the Ottawa Senators organization before trying his hand in Europe.