Yesterday was the deadline for the teams to hand qualifying offers to the players. Unfortunately the Avalanche chose not to tender an offer to Philippe Dupuis nor Brian Elliott. Chances are good that both these players will be looking for new homes this summer.
Biran Elliott was almost in a no win (get it?) situation as soon as he got to Colorado. The team was in a horrid stretch, and had lost a few key players by then to injury, and was a team that just didn't play as a cohesive unit for a full 60 minutes. By the time he got his first start,and loss, in Avs gear, on February 23rd, the Avs had won 1 game out of the last ten games (the month of February). The fan base was already a little perturbed that Craig Anderson was traded, and at the time, Anderson was incredibly well-liked within the Colorado Avalanche community.
Unfortunately, Elliott was unable to overcome all of the barriers and he finished the season with a measly two victories. It is no great surprise that the Avalanche deemed this a failed experiment and didn't tender an offer to the goalie that hails from Newmarket, Ontario. It's unfortunate because the Silver Seven had run a column indicating that he was better than he gets credit for, and it is certainly difficult for a goalie to win games when the team scores 2 or less goals 7 times.
So, as most of us have seen in watching Elliott, he's not a flashy goaltender. Aside from the occasional very impressive glove-save, most of his saves are due to his technical proficiency and ability to ensure he's in the right position to have the best chances of stopping the shots that come his way. Because his game is based so heavily on technique, he's rarely out of position--and as a result, rarely has to make highlight-reel saves. For that reason, we rarely remember him, and won't often think of him as among the league's top tenders.
Among his peer group, however, Elliott's stats are even more impressive. Or at least his winning percentage, which ranks him eighth best among goaltenders under 25 years of age, ahead of such big names as Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Ward, Cary Price, and Tuukka Rask. His SP is 17 in that group, and his GAA is 15; being eighth in winning percentage is not representative of those numbers.
As for Philippe Dupuis, he was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2003 draft. By the time he made it onto the Avalanche roster he filled a different role, one of a grinder and an agitator. Unfortunately for Blue Steel, he is on a team deep with centers. His MHH Final Grade had him at a B-, and it was one of the few, if not the only one, that members thought the staff was being too hard on the player and that the player derserved a higher grade. It's safe to officially say that Chia Pet is no longer permitted to purchase jerseys with a player from the current roster on the back. In the Final Grade this was said this of his future:
" The Avalanche have four centers ahead of Dupuis in Stastny, Duchene, O'Reilly and McClement, which could potentially squeeze him off the roster."
Which ever team extends him a contract will be gaining a guy who gives it his all every shift and has no problem being a pest on the ice.
Onto some happier Cupcakes. Gabriel Landeskog's old Kitchener roommate, Jeff Skinner, offered some words of advice to him.
Skinner, now 19, just won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year. His advice to Landeskog is simply to keep things in perspective.
"Just along the lines of enjoying it and not getting too far ahead of yourself," Skinner offers. "When I look back on my year, it's sort of overwhelming how much I've been through and how many memories I've created. But when you're going through it, you're just sort of focused on the moment."
Some news on an ex-Avalanche member.
The young people who make up the Shjon Podein Children's Foundation's Team 25 got star treatment during the annual celebrity party fundraiser Sunday in Rochester, including one who can now call himself a famous songwriter.
Country star Brad Paisley recorded a song called "Hard Life," written by Joe Kindregan, a member of Team 25 from Washington D.C.,