It's been quite the year for St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.
First, during a 2010-11 season that saw him split time between the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche, he won just three of 25 starts after Jan. 1. Then he inked a 1-year, two-way deal worth $600,00 to fight for the backup job behind Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis.
Today, after usurping Halak for the No. 1 gig during a hot stretch in the early part of this season, Elliott inked a new deal with the Blues for two years.
St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Wednesday the club signed All-Star goaltender Brian Elliott to a two-year contract.
"Brian came in here and helped stabilize our goaltending and make it one of the top tandems in the NHL," said Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong. "Having Brian and Jaro signed through the 13-14 season our goaltending is set. Along with Ben Bishop and Jake Allen in Peoria, our depth at goaltender has never been stronger."
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the 26-year old Elliott will make $1.7M next season and $1.9M in 2013-14, making for a $1.8M cap hit. The 2-year deal for Elliott also means that both he and Halak will be unrestricted free agents after the 2013-14 season.
The "contract year player" is one that is very common in sports, and while Elliott could be grouped into that category he did post a 29-18-4, 2.57, .902, five-shutout season after signing a 2-year deal with Ottawa after 2008-09. The rails didn't come off until 2010-11 for him.
A week from Thursday, Elliott will return to Ottawa as an NHL All-Star where he's currently second in goals-against average (1.68), third in save-percentage (.937) and won 15 of his 21 starts. As far as first-half stories in the NHL go, Elliott's revival is near the top.
Given his past success maybe, just maybe, Elliott is this good; and with a netminding tandem rounded out with Halak, the Blues have solidified their crease for at least the next two years.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy