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Tampa Bay, Anaheim Swap Goalies Before Deadline

Another day in the NHL, another trade — though this one is much more minor. The Tampa Bay Lightning have swapped goalies with the Anaheim Ducks, sending G Dan Ellis to California in exchange for G Curtis McElhinney.

The Anaheim Ducks have been searching for goalie depth, with starting goaltender Jonas Hiller suffering from chronic dizziness. They signed Ray Emery out of retirement after he expressed interest in making a comeback, and now they have traded for Dan Ellis. Ellis, 30, was a standout with the Nashville Predators before coming to Tampa Bay over the offseason. After a rough start to the season, he lost his starting job when the Lightning traded for New York Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson. Ellis has an .889 SV% this season, far below his career number of .907 SV%. He offers some upside to an Anaheim team fighting for their playoff lives in the Western Conference.

Tampa Bay acquired G Curtis McElhinney from Anaheim. McElhinney, 27, has never had the success that Ellis enjoyed in Nashville, but is several years younger and profiles as an adequate backup for the Lightning. He’s unlikely to see much playing time this season, as Tampa Bay is pushing for the Southeast Division title. His career numbers are unspectacular, sporting a .895 SV% and a 3.22 GAA. He has posted worse numbers this season.

This trade is very reminiscent of the Colorado Avalanche goalie swap with the Ottawa Senators last weekend, when they sent Craig Anderson to Ottawa in exchange for Brian Elliott. The more talented goalie was shipped off for a potential future backup several years younger.