Feb 24, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT
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.
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 16
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 24
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 34
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 42
- Lundqvist shuts out Red Wings to claim 300th victory 11
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 11
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 19
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (68)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)