Sunday, September 20, 2015

Brian Elliott Autographed Card

The St. Louis Blues just cannot catch a break in net; this time, their "goalie oft he future" Jake Allen has been taken out of training camp with back spasms, an issue that has a tendency to become chronic with athletes over time.

That means Brian Elliott gets to be top dog again, though with GM Doug Armstrong and head coach Ken Hitchcock, who knows how long that'll last. We are, after all, talking about a team whose goalie made it to the All-Star Game, was confirmed as a starter two weeks ahead of the playoffs, then was stuck to the bench when they came along. The same team that wasn't content with having playoff hero Jaroslav Halak because he'd never played over 60 regular-season games in a single season (and who has since made the New York Islanders into contenders).

Here's the thing with Elliott: is he one of the 10 best goalies in the world? No. But do you need a top-10 goalie to win the Stanley Cup? No. Sure, Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford do rank highly in my opinion, but Antti Niemi doesn't; neither did Chris Osgood. And Henrik Lundqvist (the best in the world), Pekka Rinne (the runner-up) and Carey Price (the best last year) have all yet to see their names engraved on the famed salad bowl.

Do I think Elliott is good enough to be a starter in today's NHL? Absolutely. Here's a list of teams for which he'd be the clear #1 in my opinion: the Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes, and Minnesota Wild. And it'd be a close battle with the Detroit Red Wings and maybe even the Anaheim Ducks. He can stop pucks well, is what I'm saying.

I got this card in the mail at my old place, but I'm not sure who sent it to me (it's not a TTM return, as I've never owned this card in its regular form):
It's card #7 from In The Game's 2008-09 Between The Pipes set (part of the Future Stars sub-set), showing him wearing the Binghamton Senators' red (away) uniform. He signed it on-card in blue sharpie.

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