September 24, 2012 9:33 AM
As though training camp wasn’t going to be competitive enough, yet another notable name is headed to Charlotte.
On Monday, the Checkers signed veteran NHL goaltender Dan Ellis to a professional tryout contract. Ellis, a 32-year-old with 165 games of NHL experience both as a starter and a backup, will be with the Checkers as they open training camp this Saturday at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail.
The arrival of Ellis, who spent each of the last two seasons backing up Jonas Hiller with the Anaheim Ducks, will give the Checkers four goalies at camp. Two of those, Justin Peters and John Muse, are under NHL contracts with the Carolina Hurricanes, while another, rookie Rob Madore, signed an AHL deal with the Checkers this summer. Ellis is one of a slew of experienced players who have joined up with AHL teams since the beginning of the NHL’s labor stoppage.
Ellis played a total of just 10 games last season as he went on injured reserve with a torn groin muscle on Jan. 8 and underwent sports hernia surgery on March 2. He averaged approximately 39 games in four previous NHL seasons, not including six playoff starts with the Predators in 2008.
Over the course of his NHL career with Dallas, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Anaheim, Ellis is 72-57-27 with a 2.68 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and 12 shutouts. In 2007-08, he led the NHL with a .924 save percentage in 44 games with Nashville.
Originally selected by Dallas in the second round (60th overall) of the 2000 draft, Ellis is 61-67-3 in 140 career AHL games with Utah, Hamilton and Iowa. Over that time, he compiled a 2.80 goals-against average and .912 save percentage with nine shutouts. His last AHL game was on May 12, 2007, as a member of the Iowa Stars.