When Brian Elliott joined the Calgary Flames before the start of the 2016-17 season his new team was expecting him to help solidify a position that had been a major weakness the previous year.
Through the first half of the season, things did not go according to plan for him personally as he ended up struggling and even losing some playing time to backup Chad Johnson. But things started to turn around for him in the second half of the season as he finished with a .924 save percentage of the final three months.
He is hoping to build on that strong second half and carry it over to the start of the 2017-18 season when he joins another new team, the Philadelphia Flyers, that will be counting on him to help fix a position that was a major weakness the previous year.
“As a team, we came together, and I benefited from that,” said Elliott, via Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi. “I felt real good from the middle to the end of the season in Calgary, and I want to continue that feeling. You feel confident and feel that, no matter what, you can make that save. When you have that feeling and that confidence back there, then the guys can go and do their job.”
The Flyers signed Elliott to a one-year, $5.5 million contract this summer and will use him along with veteran goalie Michal Neuvirth in what will mostly likely be some sort of a platoon role. Neuvirth split time the past two seasons with Steve Mason. The duo was outstanding — and an incredible bargain — during the 2015-16 season but badly regressed this past season and played a major role in the team’s disappointing year.
The Flyers are hoping that Elliott can help fix that.
General manager Ron Hextall has already said he does not consider this season to be a rebuilding year in Philadelphia and that he expects the team to compete, and if it is going to i it is going to need a big year from its two goalies playing behind what will be a mostly young defense.