It is only fitting that I take a moment to recognize someone who will more than likely not be returning to the Predators next season. He has served as a great masthead for this blog over the past couple of years. It pains me to think that I should probably retire the picture in favor of someone who will actually be ON the team next season.
But what’s not to love about Dan Ellis? Sure, some of you will find it easy to answer that question. He lets in easy goals. He’s not consistent. He’s not Pekka Rinne…blah, blah, blah. However, I’d like to remind you of the journey that led him to where he is today. Remember three seasons ago when he showed up at training camp and no one knew who he was? At that point in time, Chris Mason had inherited the starting goaltender title after Tomas Vokoun was traded away. One of the many unanswered questions going into that season was who would serve in the back up role. Most speculated that Pekka Rinne would get his shot and yet…Dan Ellis found himself with a spot on the team at the end of training camp.
From that point on, Dan Ellis steadily climbed the ranks on my list of favorite hockey players. His story of new found success was inspiring and served as my reminder of patience and perseverance. Everything I read about him, including a City Paper feature about his time at a Christian camp as a teenager that turned his life around, only amplified my admiration. His lovable on-air personality often spotlighted during in-game interviews with Pete and Terry and his affinity for Twitter were icing on the cake. If you can't tell, it’s no secret how much I admire Ellis as a player and a person.
Though I would much prefer to see him in a Predators jersey as long as possible, I know his time with Nashville has drawn to a close. In some ways, I am happy that he will be moving on since I think he deserves a #1 role just as much as Pekka Rinne does. The Predators have too much of a good thing and Dan Ellis is the unfortunate casualty. But will I miss him?