While the Stanley Cup playoffs linger on, one team eliminated is already making a key move for the future.
In one of their first moves since the season ended for them, the St. Louis Blues have re-signed goalie Brian Elliott to a three year deal.
The 29 year-old has been with the Blues since July of 2011. Last season, Elliott went 18-6-2 and finished 2nd in the NHL with a 1.96 goals-against average.
This is a big move for the Blues organization. Last year, they traded to get veteran goalie Ryan Miller in the hopes that their chances at winning the Stanley Cup. Safe to say that plan didn’t go as planned. The team was battered and bruised heading into the postseason, and despite being up 2-0 against the Blackhawks in the first round, the Blues once again squandered a good series lead and were eliminated from the playoffs. Miller finished with a lackluster 2.70 GAA and .897 save percentage in the playoffs.
There are two main reasons why locking up Elliott for the next three years was a smart move by the Blues. First, they day will come when the leader between the pipes will be Jake Allen, who has become a top goalie in the CHL. Having Elliott on the team provides a strong veteran presence whom which Allen can learn under and develop even further.
The second benefit of the Blues re-signing Elliott is simple: he’s an underrated goalie who has experienced a career resurgence ever since he joined three years ago. With Jaroslav Halak traded away, and the fact the Blues will most likely let Miller go, Elliott becomes the lead goalie in the Gateway City.
A lot was given up for the Blues to acquire Miller and Steve Ott last season, so another big signing is a stretch. But it’s not necessary now that they have locked up Elliott. He is in the prime of his career, still younger than 30, and relatively healthy.
In time, Allen will be the head goalie between the pipes, but for now, having Brian Elliott as your starter and a dependable goalie is a key piece to the puzzle of building a successful team.
With a three year deal, they don’t shell out a lot of money in case he doesn’t pan out, so it’s a low risk – high reward signing on the part of the Blues organization.
St. Louis is getting prepared for life without Miller, and by resigning Elliott, it’s a good start.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)