Ellerby trade: The view from Florida
A scouting report from Litter Box Cats, plus a look at how the Keaton Ellerby trade is viewed from the Panthers' side.
Yesterday we weighed in on the Keaton Ellerby trade. Here's some reactions from Florida as he leaves his old team.
Litter Box Cats
First we asked the Panthers blog Litter Box Cats to give us a scouting report. Here's what Alex Calloway had to say:
Ellerby has great size (six-foot-six) and solid skating. He's decent on the penalty kill and is willing to sacrifice his body to block shots. The only thing keeping Ellerby from developing into a top four defensemen is his hockey sense, but not a bad deal for a fifth round pick.
For more, be sure to check out LBC's post on the trade, where they ask the community to weigh in on whether they received enough of a return.
Ellerby's potential was a hot button topic over the years. It may remind Kings fans of the debates we still have over Thomas Hickey and Andrei Loktionov.
Other Panthers fans gave me their opinions on Ellerby's pros and cons here.
The Miami Herald gathered reactions from the team on Ellerby's departure:
"Defensemen take time to develop, and sometimes a change of scenery helps someone," coach Kevin Dineen said after Friday’s afternoon workout in northern Virginia.
"When someone leaves your organization, you always wish them well. He was a good-serving Panther, and we hope he takes the full-time step he couldn’t make here. Last year, we couldn’t find a full-time place for him. He’s still a young guy. He has a lot of hockey left in him.’
Assistant GM Mike Santos pointed out that with a surplus of defenseman, they risked losing someone for nothing on waivers.
Overall, it seems that Ellerby's overly high draft ranking in 2007 stemmed in large part from scouts' belief that he had good offensive potential to go along with his size. That didn't turn out to be the case, but on the plus side for Ellerby, it won't be what the Kings are expecting from him.
Another issue that crops up in comments from the Panthers' side is Ellerby's lack of confidence seeming to impact his game. Sutter demands the very best of everyone, so how he matures this season will likely make or break his chances in Los Angeles.