The Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks exchanged goalies today in a trade that sent Dan Ellis to the California in exchange for Curtis McElhinney.
Although Ellis experienced some growing pains as he tried (and ultimately failed) to win the starting job in Tampa Bay, it seems like a “win” on paper for the Ducks. Especially if the Ellis acquisition was made mandatory by growing concerns about Jonas Hiller’s health.
Yet it’s important to look at this deal beyond the “on paper” value, although perhaps it’s just a matter of what type of paper you’re looking at. When it comes down to money, the Lightning essentially cleared Ellis off the cap for the 2011-12 season (he’ll make $2 million in salary and will be a $1.5 million cap hit) since Curtis McElhinney’s $535K per season expires in July. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman decided that Ellis won’t be a part of their starting rotation in the future, so he gave the team flexibility to sign another goalie (or two) this summer while adding flexibility to sign Steven Stamkos to a restricted free agent deal.
As if it wasn’t obvious already, this solidifies the fact that Dwayne Roloson will be Tampa’s go-to goalie for the rest of the season, barring another move. The aging veteran also has a contract that will expire this season, indicating that the Lightning might be a big player in the free agent goalie market in July (Tomas Vokoun, anyone?).
McElhinney is 6-9-1 with a 89 save percentage and 3.43 goals against average in 21 games played for the Ducks this season. Ellis is 13-7-6 with an 88.9 save percentage and 2.93 GAA in 31 appearances for the Lightning in 10-11. Yet it’s overall NHL experience where Ellis trumps McElhinney, as the former Predators backup has 63 career wins compared to only 15 for McElhinney.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.