Friday, February 25, 2011

Dan, We Hardly Knew Ye: #danellistoanaheim

Dan Ellis has been traded to Anaheim for irrelevant backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney, and humor writers around the Boltosphere are poorer for it. It was a brief shining era, when the most ridiculous or embarrassing thing about the team was not the imbecility of its ownership group. Early candidate for next year's "Most Ridiculous or Embarrassing" award. Um... the new uniforms? No, no, I'm not going there. This post is about Dan Ellis.

What can we say about Dan? He was signed to be an affordable insurance option in case Mike Smith faltered (someone really had a crystal ball on hand for that one), and in his less-than-one-complete-season with the Lightning, Dan sometimes played well. He even picked up a few shutouts, but he'll be remembered for so much more.

First, there was the Ellis-bomb via Twitter before training camp even opened, with Ellis' tweets being occasionally cryptic and silly, and then progressively more absurd and intentionally offensive. While showing off his new Jag and then complaining about money woes, and arguing that it made sense for backup goaltenders to earn as much as brain surgeons, it sometimes seemed like Ellis was actually goading the whole world into hating him.

Congratulations, Mister Ellis. You are now a meme.

So Stevie Y encourages Dan to chill out on the tweets, and Dan gets down to playing hockey. Unfortunately he seemed to have gotten confused with all the tweets, because he ended up playing goal with about as much skill as a brain surgeon would have, if that brain surgeon was trying to play goal at the NHL level. And I know that's a little confusing, but just because someone knows their way around a cerebral cortex, doesn't mean they can make a lead stand up in the third period.

What I'm trying to say is, Ellis, along with the poorly insured Mike Smith, played like stinky crap in goal for most of the season. The two were so bad that they were given the greatest name a goaltending tandem has ever received in the NHL (and I'm still taking credit for making up the name): Smith and Ellis? Make that "Smellis." Boom.

To find an equally cool nickname for a pair of goalies, I had to go all the way back to the 1967 Leafs, when Sawchuk and Bower took on the unlikely and quite meaningless name of "Sawbowchuker." (Not actually true.)

Anyway, Smellis stunk so bad that The Yz had to go get Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders, making for the uncomfortable "Smellson" situation, which was remedied when Smith was booted to Norfolk. Now with Ellis gone, traded presumably for cap space (McElhinney works for table scraps and small change), Smith might be back, for a few days at least.

And Ellis? Ellis joins the ranks of Lightning goaltenders, along with illustrious names such as Cloutier, Weekes, Graham and more, who were given a shot at the starting job, but were really just filling time until the Lightning found someone better.

Just like all my girlfriends in high school were doing with me.


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