Although the Kings’ players are getting the day off today, the same can’t be said for GM Dean Lombardi.
Early this morning it was announced that Los Angeles had acquired left-handed defenseman Keaton Ellerby from Florida in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Here are 10 Tidbits on the deal…
– The fifth round draft pick sent to Florida was the same one Lombardi received earlier this week from New Jersey in exchange for Andrei Loktionov.
– Ellerby is a a 6-foot-5 former first round draft pick (10th overall in 2007). This season, he had played in nine of the Panthers’ 10 games, sitting out their contest on Thursday night vs. the Flyers. So, perhaps the trade was already in the works.
– He also appeared in 40 games for the Panthers last season, while in the two previous years he had split time between the NHL and Florida’s AHL affiliate in Rochester. In 2010 he competed in the AHL All-Star Game.
– Currently, Ellerby is ranked sixth in the NHL with 36 penalty minutes. Roughly half of those (19) came during a game against Tampa Bay on January 29 when he was given unsportsmanlike and game misconduct penalties following a fight with the Lightning’s BJ Crombeen. Ellerby instigated the altercation after Crombeen extended his leg to trip Ed Jovanovksi.
– He’s from Strathmore, Alberta – less than an hour outside of Calgary. Darryl Sutter likely knows the area well, as he’s known for being a fan of players from Western Canada.
– The 24-year old played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers and Moose Jaw Warriors. His cousin, Shane Doan, won the Memorial Cup with the Blazers in 1994 and 1995.
– Ellerby was wearing #4 in Florida. Although assigning Rob Blake’s former number has been the subject of much debate since the future Hall of Famer left the organization, the topic was put to bed quickly following the trade. Ellerby will wear #5 in LA.
– Along with the Ellerby move, the Kings announced rookie defenseman Andrew Campbell has been sent back to Manchester (AHL). He didn’t have to clear waivers this time because of the ’30-day/10-game’ exclusion clause. Campbell originally cleared waivers on January 15, so it hadn’t been with the team for 30 days yet.
– Ellerby is expected to join the Kings for practice tomorrow, in advance of their game on Sunday vs. the Red Wings.
– On the surface, this is a depth move (Ellerby was a 5/6 defenseman in Florida) while the status of Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene remain works-in-progress. Of course, Mitchell has been cleared by doctors and trainers, but swelling in his knee still hasn’t allowed him to play a game this season. Greene recently had back surgery and will be out at least another six weeks. The Kings miss their leadership, aggression and shot blocking abilities. Mitchell led all of his teammates last year with 139 blocked shots and Greene was third with 112. They both ate up minutes on the penalty kill as well. Ellerby has eight blocked shots in nine games played this year.
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