NHL Trade Deadline: Lightning Deal G Dan Ellis To Anaheim

JC De La TorreAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2011

Curtis McElhinney is now property of the Lightning
Curtis McElhinney is now property of the LightningJim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning got some salary cap relief by trading goaltender Dan Ellis and his $1.5 million dollar salary to the Anaheim Ducks for goalie Curtis McElhinney.

Ellis was replaced as the Lightning's starter when the team acquired Dwayne Roloson on New Year's Day.

Ellis has started 26 games this season for the Lightning, posting a 13-7-6 with a 2.93 goals-against average and .889 save percentage.

Meanwhile, the Bolts get 27-year-old career backup McElhinney and his modest $570,000 salary this season (with a $535,000 cap hit). He is 6-9-1 in 21 appearances, with a 3.43 GAA and .890 save percentage.

Unless Stevie Y. sees something in McElhinney that most others do not, this move was to free up some cap space.

At 6'2" he's got good size for the position, but his mobility is questioned by some scouts.

He hasn't proven he's able to keep the puck out of the net consistently enough at the NHL level.

His stint with the Calgary Flames in 2007 and 2008 spawned a "Curtis McElhinney Sucks" Forum.

Could the Lightning be clearing some space for a bigger move?

One has to think that this will not be the endgame but a precursor.