Moving Forward: Elliott & Bishop

Justin Goldman

2012-01-19

Brian Elliott - Courtesy SMI Icon

 

When it comes to Brian Elliott, I can safely say that he has worked extremely hard to earn a new contract extension, and that he totally deserves one. The Blues signed him to a new two-year deal yesterday, one that will see him earn $1.7 million next season, then $1.9 million in the 2013-14 season. It's a cap hit of just $1.8 million, a number that falls well within the "bargain" category for the Blues.

 

Hands down, I feel very strongly that the Blues did an excellent job with this goaltending decision. They bolstered the organization's depth, they secured a valuable asset, and they will continue to reap the benefits as a result.

 

Elliott was an inexperienced NHL goalie in Ottawa, so much of the criticism he received was, in my opinion, undeserved. In Colorado, he was never given a chance to get acclimated to his new teammates, and the team had no chemistry or motivation, so it was nothing more than a learning experience.

 

But his hard work and on-ice diligence during the summer months truly paid off when training camps got underway in September, and now he's reaping the rewards. The success he had in October was bolstered by the arrival of new head coach Ken Hitchcock, and now he's one of those exciting and unique "elite backup that's not really a backup right now" goalies. Oh, and he's headed to the NHL All-Star Game, too.

 

It is all truly deserved, that's for sure. I know his game very well (see point #5) and have discussed his technique on here many times before. He's also a student of Elite Goalies, a company I partnered with last March. I know how hard he worked over the summer, I know that he only made a few minor tweaks to his game, and I knew he was going to have a good season in St. Louis.

 

But I never knew it was going to be this good.

 

Truth be told, even though I've always seen a lot of potential under the surface of his skill-set, Elliott's game has come a real long way since May, and even watching him today, I still feel like he's a few years away from truly reaching his "prime" as an NHL goaltender. This is great news for the Blues, good news in terms of keeping Jaroslav Halak thirsty and working hard, this is good news in terms of the team having interchangeable 1A-1B tandem, and it's good news in terms of the organization developing valuable assets for the future.

 

That's the most important thing to keep in mind when relating this new contract to their future goaltenders, Ben Bishop and Jake Allen. Both guys should just be happy being "the future" of a rising NHL club, even if that's the case two years from now. Bishop will have to make a decision, as will the Blues, but to me, only good can come out of this if Bishop understands the power of patience.

 

Since Bishop's contract is up at the end of the season, the Blues will have to re-sign him (RFA status via CapGeek).

 

Is Bishop a little peeved at the fact Elliott was re-signed before he was? Who knows. I don't. And I don't even care, because all that matters is how patient he is willing