Entering the NHL draft the Calgary Flames seemed to be the only team in the NHL in the market for a starting goaltender. And with several teams looking to make a move with a goalie of their own they had a pretty wide selection of players to go after.
They seem to have found their goalie on Friday night when they sent their second-round pick in 2016 (No. 35 overall) and a conditional draft pick to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Brian Elliott.
The condition on the second pick is that St. Louis will receive a 2018 third-round pick if Elliott re-signs with the Flames. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
With the Flames in desperate need for a goalie the rumors were flying all over the place in the days leading up to the draft, with everybody from Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury, to Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop, to Detroit's Jimmy Howard, to even Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky being mentioned. But all of those players either have massive contracts (Fleury, Howard and Bobrovsky) or will be due for one in another year (Bishop).
Elliott is only signed for one more year, but it is a pretty cheap contract at only $2.5 million against the cap.
Elliott's career has been an interesting one. At times he has put up numbers that are on par with the very best goalies in the league. At other times he has played like nothing more than a backup. In recent years with the Blues has been more of the former, including this past season when he finished with the NHL's best save percentage at .930, the second time he has finished on top of the league.
But he has also never played more than 55 games in a single season and has topped 40 games just four times.
The Flames have some intriguing pieces in place with young forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett, and a really strong top-three on defense with Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton. Goaltending was the one thing that really held them back this past season and Elliott should almost certainly be an immediate upgrade even if he does not match the numbers he had in St. Louis this past season.
With Elliott now out of the picture in St. Louis, it now seems to leave the No. 1 job in the hands of Jake Allen.