Skip to main content

Dan's The Man


Word comes this morning that the Nashville Predators have traded goalie Chris Mason to the St. Louis Blues for a 4th-round draft pick. This clears the way for handing the #1 job to Dan Ellis, who in yesterday's Tennessean discussed the three-way situation between himself, Mason and Pekka Rinne as an obstacle to re-signing with Nashville. This morning the Predators have also announced a multi-year deal with the one-time University of Nebraska-Omaha standout.

You've come a long way, baby!

The question of course is how much it will cost the Preds to lock up Ellis (terms weren't disclosed immediately), who came out of nowhere to have a successful, if at times inconsistent, season. Mason is entering the first year of a two-season contract worth $3 million per, which was earned at the time based on 82 games of NHL action, mostly as Tomas Vokoun's backup. In 2006-7, Mason had one of the top performances in the league as he played 40 games due to injury troubles for Vokoun. At this point, Dan Ellis has 45 games under his belt, with similarly solid numbers. How will his new contract compare to what Chris Mason received? My guess is that they'll be in roughly the same ballpark, but I would lobby for something slightly less given the concerns about his ability to maintain playing weight, and unproven ability to handle the starters job for more than a few weeks at a time. UPDATE: John Glennon reports that the new deal is for 2 years, averaging $1.75 million each. A great deal for both sides, as Ellis gets his shot at a #1 job and the Preds go into the season projected to spend a mere $2.3 million on their goaltending.

No matter the case, Predators GM David Poile has appeared to have successfully resolved the logjam in net, and while a 4th-round pick isn't great value in return, the likely alternative would have been for Nashville to let Ellis walk away via free agency, and receive nothing. This way, they did land an extra pick (along with that 5th-rounder for Darcy Hordichuk, will they bundle a few to move up, perhaps?), and set themselves up well for the medium term with Ellis as #1 and Pekka Rinne having the opportunity to back him up while learning the ropes at the NHL level. Rinne's $575K salary also helps offset some of the payroll increases of the last few months, so I'm sure that was part of the consideration. Well done, Mr. Poile...

And, of course, you have to wish the best of luck to Chris Mason in St. Louis; during a trying 2007-8 season he never appeared bitter at seeing Dan Ellis take over in goal, and his team-first attitude was apparent during Preds TV coverage, when he'd provide on-the-bench commentary during the 3rd period. He was on the air when Jason Arnott scored the go-ahead goal against the Red Wings in Game Three of the playoffs, only 9 seconds after the game had been tied, and his excitement and enthusiasm came through loud and clear. He always seemed to be a grounded, regular guy with a great attitude, and the fans in St. Louis will appreciate that.

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…