Thursday, October 25, 2007

Congrats to Ellis

Congratulations to Dan Ellis on his first NHL shutout tonight (for Nashville against the Thrashers). Ellis is a player I've liked for a long time, having interviewed him during the 2004 playoffs when he was a rookie pro playing for the ECHL Idaho Steelheads. Idaho beat the Gladiators in the conference finals that year. Anyway, Ellis is a really interesting guy and I'm glad to see him succeed.

The TV crew kept calling him a youngster, but he's actually 27, too old to be classified as a rookie in the NHL. Ellis is in fact a year older than Garnet Exelby and Steve McCarthy, and a few months younger than Darren Haydar (who is also too old to be a rookie).

I was also glad to see Kevin Klein, another favorite of mine, play well with a nifty move for an assist. I talked to him a couple years ago at Predators prospects camp. I think he's generally underrated.

A few other random items:
  • 1. In the "what took you so long" file, we have an announcement of an affiliation between the Hurricanes and the ECHL Charlotte Checkers. The Hurricanes have been goalie-rich for years now, and the Checkers have a coach who was a former goaltender in Derek Wilkinson. They are sending Daniel Manzato there. The two franchises are close enough to benefit from an affiliation, but not too close to step on each other's toes. Why haven't they gotten together before is the question. Edit to add: In an interesting twist, a Florida Everblades reporter says the Hurricanes "still only have one ECHL affiliate" and that's the Blades, who they've been with for some time. As I understand it though, the paperwork is the same between teams and leagues no matter if you send one player or six, so it's as "real" as it gets. The Checkers are also affiliated with the NY Rangers, so it's not like they are desperate.
  • 2. We can probably cross Kevin Dineen off the list of possibilities for the Thrashers coaching spot. I talked to someone today who noted that he really lets his ire at players get to the surface in Portland. That's probably not what's needed right now. Plus he recently was charged with impaired driving.
  • 3. Someone reached this blog today by Googling "infected stitches pictures." I'm just not sure what to say to that. But I think they were probably disappointed. I figured out that it was a post about Jon Awe's toe that did it. Awezy is a good sport and I think he'd let me take pictures of his toe if I wanted to -- but I don't want to.

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