Ducks Acquire Goaltender Ellis from Tampa Bay for McElhinney
Thursday, 02.24.2011 / 8:00 AM PT / News
“We are excited to acquire a goaltender of Dan’s caliber, someone we feel can help us immediately,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “He has experience playing in big games down the stretch.”
Ellis, 30 (6/19/80), has appeared in 142 career NHL games with Tampa Bay, Nashville and Dallas, going 63-49-14 with a 2.71 goals-against average (GAA), .907 save percentage (SV%), and 12 shutouts. In 31 games with Tampa Bay this season, he went 13-7-6 with a 2.93 GAA and .889 save percentage. At the time of the trade, he led the Lightning in wins and games played. In his final 11 appearances with Tampa Bay, Ellis compiled a 5-2-2 record with a 2.44 GAA and .910 SV%.
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Ellis played three seasons with the Nashville Predators from 2007-10, posting a 49-42-8 record with a 2.64 GAA and .912 SV% in 110 games. He also appeared in six playoff games with Nashville. Ellis led the NHL with a .924 SV% and tied for third with six shutouts during his rookie season in 2007-08. He set a Nashville franchise record with a 233:48 shutout streak from Mar. 22-30, 2008, the fifth-best streak in the NHL’s modern era at the time (147 consecutive saves). He also began his NHL career as just the fourth NHL goaltender in history to win seven-or-more games to start a career (7-0-0), joining current Anaheim teammate Ray Emery (9), Bob Froese (8) and Wayne Thomas (7).
Ellis was drafted by Dallas in the second round (60th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He was signed by Nashville as an unrestricted free agent on July 5, 2007. He was traded to Montreal with Dustin Boyd for Sergei Kostitsyn on June 29, 2010 before signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay on July 1, 2010.
McElhinney, 27 (5/23/83), posted a 6-9-1 record with two shutouts, a 3.43 GAA and .890 SV% in 21 appearances for Anaheim this season. A native of Calgary Alberta, McElhinney set career highs in wins, shutouts and appearances in 2010-11. He was acquired from Calgary in exchange for Vesa Toskala on Mar. 3, 2010 and appeared in 31 career games for Anaheim, going 11-10-2 with two shutouts, a 3.20 GAA and .899 SV%.
Ellis spoke to reporters via conference call Thursday morning:
On hearing of the trade:
It’s always a bit of a surprise. The team I was a part of here was putting together some great games and doing fairly well. It seems like they made all the acquisitions they were going to make, but the business side of hockey is something that can always take you by surprise and you have to be prepared for it.
To have the opportunity to be picked up by Anaheim is wonderful. They have a great organization and some great players there. Jonas has done a wonderful job and it will be great to learn from him and partner with him. It takes you by surprise, but in another sense it’s a great opportunity to help a team that is making a push down this final stretch to get into the playoffs.
On his season:
It’s feel like it’s the best I feel I’ve been playing all year. It’s an opportunity to get moved at a time where I feel like I’m on top of my game.
The first part of the season didn’t go exactly the way we would have liked, as far as the goaltending tandem with [Mike Smith] and I. They picked up Dwayne [Roloson] right when we got things turned around a little bit, and he came in and provided instant stability, being a character and veteran person. He had some great games out there. I had a chance to almost take a step back and learn from him, which for me was one of the best things that could happen in my career. We also had a new goaltending coach who was teaching me a new goaltending system. That creates a lot of thinking, and you guys know that any thinking athlete is not a good one. When you’re thinking instead of reacting, usually you’re a little late for pucks.
I learned from Roly and I think the hockey I played from December on was considerably different from the first half of the season.
On his arrival in Anaheim:
I’m arriving this evening. I’ll do anything for the team I’m, playing for. Anything I can do to benefit that team, I’m always willing to do. I’m a Duck now and my goal is to help that team make the playoffs. If they want me in the net tomorrow, I’ll jump right in and be very excited. If they need me to sit on the bench, I’ll do that and cheer on my squad.