Brian Elliott May Want Out of St. Louis

Those concerned with the state of Blues goaltending — Martin Brodeur’s age and Jake Allen’s inexperience — may have to deal with that angst for longer than they initially wanted. Brian Elliott is practicing with the team, but doesn’t seem to be making enormous progress on the path back to game condition. Athletes recover from injury at different rates, so the focus should probably now shift to monitoring how Ken Hitchcock manages the Hall-of-Fame veteran wanting more playing time, and cultivating the career of a younger and potentially more mentally fragile rookie.


Blues have a potential problem brewing

Although there’s no question that bringing in the winningest goalie in NHL history has benefits, there’s also no question that the Brian Elliott situation has been mishandled from the outset. At each turn, the issues rarely stemmed from his performances and had more to do with external influences. For example, the signing of Jaroslav Halak, with all of the hype surrounding a single playoff run — not to mention his contract — cemented his spot as the #1 in St. Louis, regardless of Elliott’s performances. Despite putting up better numbers and being the scapegoat of two consecutive playoff losses, Elliott played second fiddle to another new face in Ryan Miller. These topics have been discussed ad nauseam already, but the reason why it’s important today is the Martin Brodeur signing, with all its positives, might be the final straw for Brian Elliott in St. Louis. Blues management has handled Elliott like some girls handle certain guys — they’ll never date, but he’s always the first to get called for a sympathetic shoulder when she gets dumped. Here again, an issue external to Elliott’s performance — a knee injury brought about from crease crashing — creates playing time for a guy that the head coach would rather play. If Elliott comes back healthy and Brodeur gets the playoff nod, Elliott may decide he’s wasting his prime years with a team that takes him for granted at every turn. [By the way, if you like this post you can subscribe to our free newsletter to receive others like it]

Brian Elliott
Brian Elliott’s injury isn’t the only thing standing in his way.

It’s hard to blame Blues management, Elliott

Both sides of this issue have valid points. You cannot dismiss the accomplishments of Martin Brodeur, a first-ballot HOF inductee with three Stanley Cups under his belt. All Blues management is concerned with is bringing a championship to St. Louis, something fans should be appreciative of. However, players around the League pay attention to how franchises handle their personnel when making free agency decisions. A team might be winning, but at what cost to the individual’s perceived worth and respect? The way Blues management handles the Elliott situation will have an impact on his career as a perceived NHL number one goalie. If the team only plays him absent better options, what franchise will decide he’s their guy? Should Brodeur win and retire or leave for another team to extend his career, will Brian Elliott assume  that he’ll continue to just split starts (at best) with Jake Allen until his three-year deal expires, or another big-name guy decides he wants to play here? These are legitimate concerns for a 29-year old goalie with plenty of playing years ahead of him, and a lot of regular-season success to underlay his point of view.

(Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports)
The Blues want to win now, with Elliott potentially on the outside looking in. (Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports)


Do the ends justify the means

If Martin Brodeur brings a Cup to St. Louis, most fans won’t give a hoot about what happens to Brian Elliott thereafter. All sports teams are in the winning business, and like other businesses today are understandably concerned primarily with organizational success over that of individual employee happiness. Should Brian Elliott demand a trade in this event, there’s legitimate grounds to assert that despite this unsavory individual scenario, Blues management did what they were hired to do in finally bringing a title to this town. The issues surrounding Brodeur’s arrival are undoubtedly short-term, but it’s yet another indicator that Elliott might internalize that tells him he’s only there as a matter of convenience, more than a real asset the team can use to win a Stanley Cup. This is a fluid situation that could change from one day to the next, with ripples potentially impacting the franchise for years to come.

18 thoughts on “Brian Elliott May Want Out of St. Louis”

    • Has both. There’s really no question that the Elliott situation from day one was mishandled, culminating in the delivery of Miller to St. Louis. Blues fans should consider themselves lucky Elliott’s character is what it is. He has (had) every reason to want to head to a team that won’t play games. Given that his save percentage is hovering around .930 and the other two guys are struggling to keep their head above .900, he’s proving his worth again.

      • I don’t see many facts that would indicate your article to be accurate. The entire story is based on Brodeur taking time away from Elliot. Which, at this early stage, is still obviously not going to happen. Elliot is the #1, and barring any health issues… he will be for the playoffs too. If he keeps it up, the Blues will also (more than likely) give him a heft pay raise. Your article was a well written hypothesis, but not based on actual information from Elliot or the Blues.

  1. proven he gets tired? huh? he’s had a goals against under 2 the last 4 years. #1 in the league. last playoff series he had a 1.90 but the blues couldn’t score for shit. he’s definately a #1.

  2. Making assumptions about how someone feels based on YOUR interpretation of a situation is a dangerous line to walk. I’d maybe reconsider before posting this kind of thing next time.

    • Welcome to journalism. It’s an interpretation based on quotes from himself and others. Not to mention, similar situations with other teams and players have driven wedges between themselves and coaching/management. Of course this is speculation — I don’t know the man — but it’s a little food for thought and something worth filing away as a consideration.

  3. Elliot is going no where he is an awesome goalie. Brodeur is an awesome example of a great goalie but unfortunately he is only good now not great and there is no way Marty is bringing a cup to the
    lou on his shoulders they will waive brodeur or keep him in a suit in the press box or maybe allen gets the suit,,,,definitely not ells getting the suit

  4. Elliot Is the #1. They had no choice. If anything, they will send Allen to the press box as a healthy scratch.
    Brodeur at 42 is not going to be around as long as Elliot. Elliot is in his prime. He had a G.A.A. under 2.00
    You can see where Brodeur has slowed over the years. His instincts are there, but his reflexes are slower.
    It comes with age. His mind says yes I can stop this, and his body says…Not anymore. He has made some good saves, however he has let some in that a few years back, he would have been quicker and stopped.
    He is better than Allen at this point. Allen has played terrible since Brodeur has come. Maybe he’s trying to hard to impress the future Hall of Famer. Either way, I don’t see Elliot leaving.

  5. Elliott is the number one. There is ZERO drama here. Anyone who says that he’s splitting time with Allan is being dumb. You save your #1 until the playoffs. Hitch does this EVERY year… you want him fresh and healthy. Marty B is a stop gap. They made the choice for Elliott as their #1 in the summer… they could have signed Broduer then if they didn’t think Elliott was their top guy!

  6. I still think he could be a better number one elsewhere. Last year when the Sabres were making the deal with St. Louis, I wanted HIM, not Halak. I still think Halak will never get past second round, if they are lucky. He had one great year and not much else. I really like that kid.

  7. Brian Elliot was the number 1 goalie in Ottawa until they realized he is not a number 1 goalie.
    An old rusty Brodeur is already doing just as well as a prime Elliot and he is only going to get better as he gets closer to game shape.

    With any luck the blues will have a primed Marty just in time for the playoffs.

    • “An old rusty Brodeur is already doing just as well as a prime Elliott”, ummmmm have you looked at Elliott’s stats? This year he has a 1.82 GAA and a .931 S%, how is Brodeur’s 2.64 GAA and .907 S% just as well as that? Since being a Blue Elliott has excelled with a .925 GAA and 1.91 S%, in that same span Brodeur has a .904 S% and a 2.45 GAA

  8. Elliott is the number one and Armstrong has made this known. Brodeur is just a stop gap until he is healthy and then will be put on waivers then sent to the minors(his choice to report or not) or traded if there is a market for him. Marty knew this before he signed and even talked about it in an interview.

  9. I have to disagree with you here. Elliott was never a number 1 in his career. This year we were seeing what he could do as a number one and he still split starts with Allen. A true number 1 is a Jonathan Quick, Corey Crawford, Tukka Rask. These guys play almost every game. Elliott has proven that he gets tired when he plays too many games consecutively, which none of the guys mentioned above have an issue with. I like the way the Blues have used Elliott and he should too. It has made him more money than if he were a true number 1 elsewhere.

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