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Abel to Yzerman

‘Splaining To Do?

Updated at 1455 with Uncle Mike’s comments on Ellis. Thanks, CP, for the pointer.

Matt Ellis, one of the most popular players in Grand Rapids Griffin history, has been claimed by the LA Kings.  Don’t be swayed too much by his popularity in GR.  Only a reference point, but one to keep in mind when you consider the type of character guy Ken Holland let walk, and the player he kept in his place: Mark Hartigan.

Now…it may be a good idea to give Ken Holland the benefit of the doubt here.  There must be something going on behind the scenes that prompted this move, some deal in the works, something to do with the McCarty return.

Because he had to know Ellis wouldn’t pass through waivers.  He had to know there would be absolutely no reason for a team like LA not to yank him up. 

Was Matt Ellis a difference maker?  Nope.  Was he going to be? Probably not.  But this whole thing’s curious, the timing of it, the selection of Hartigan—not the best guy in the room from what I’ve read—over Ellis, the McCarty thing and the deadline all wrapped up in a nice little bundle of confusion.

I’m going to say we hold off on judgment until the 27th.  I’d like to see how this all pans out.
Two completely different points of view from two of the 19 A2Y readers:

“So the Wings lose Ellis on waivers.
Was Hartigan so valuable that we had to lose Ellis?
This is an inexcusable error by Holland.”

Posted by w2j2 on 02/21 at 01:33 PM

“Ellis isn’t worth a draft pick and he was a 14th forward on this team.  Holland did Ellis a favor.  On the other hand, LA could be doing this as a favor as a precursor to a deal.”

Posted by Heaton on 02/21 at 01:48 PM

Matt Saler, of OTW fame, agrees with W2J2.

Ellis was a real asset to this organization, much more so than Hartigan, and I’m sorry to see him go.  The guy built a reputation as one of the hardest-working players in the system and the reward he gets is being cast off. If the Wings did this as a favor to help him get to a team that could use him more, that’s nice, I suppose. You still hate to see the guy have to uproot his young family and move 3/4 the way across the country.

From what Uncle Mike told deposed Digger Captain Ted Kulfan, it sounds like Babcock felt it was the right thing for Ellis.

“(Ellis) was in a situation where I wasn’t using him,” Babcock said. “He wasn’t fitting in on a regular basis. He’ll play in the NHL for a long time because he’s so determined. (But) he was getting less and less opportunity here.”

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com