Vacationing in Split, Croatia, Brian Elliott
woke up in the middle of the night for a quick bathroom break.
A quick peek at his phone, too.
A little more than usual for a Friday night in Europe.
“More than expected, for sure,” he said.
“Luckily my voicemail doesn’t work right now. I won’t have any messages. Only my iMessages come through over here on Wifi. I just had those ones. It was about 30 or 40 different text messages from teammates and friends and family back home.”
I just wanted an opportunity to be the guy. I think the Calgary Flames saw that and jumped at the opportunity to get me. - Brian Elliott
The flood of messages were for good reason.
While asleep, Elliott became the newest member of the Calgary Flames.
In a draft day trade, the Flames sent a second round pick in 2016, and a conditional third round pick in 2018 to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the goaltender.
“Thoughts right away are excitement,” said Elliott, who will continue his vacation in Dubrovnik before returning home to Wisconsin on Wednesday. “I put a lot of hard work in the past five years with St. Louis. I had a great time and some great numbers and a lot of wins with that team. I really wanted to just make a name for myself.
“Moving back to Canada and a new city and such a great city in Calgary I’m excited about as well.”
Elliott’s resume is an impressive one.
According to Sportsnet, has the second-best save percentage since the start of the 2011-12 season at .925 -- trailing only Cory Schneider at .926.
At .930, Elliott led the NHL in save percentage among goaltenders who played in at least 15 games. His 2.07 GAA tied him for second in goals-against-average with John Gibson, too.
He’ll get every opportunity to eclipse his career-high of 55 games set in 2009-10 as a member of the Ottawa Senators.
“We really like Brian,” Treliving said. “He had been on our radar for a long time. I think he’s one of these guys that is really mature and he’s a late bloomer. Maybe he doesn’t get the fanfare a lot of other guys get, but when you really dig into the numbers this guy has been one of the best goaltenders in the league over the last number of years.”
He’ll have the opportunity to prove that in a full-time capacity.
“The opportunity is there to take this team and be that veteran backstop back there to really run with it and just be the guy that everybody can count on,” Elliott said.
“As a goalie that’s all you really want, is the opportunity to be that guy.
“I’m excited about that.”
Excited for an opportunity.
Excited for a fresh start.
“It definitely was something that I wanted to happen,” he said. “I obviously would’ve loved to stay in one city the rest of my career and go out with a Stanley Cup and have all of that fanfare, but in the world of cap and the world of everybody coming up through different systems, it gets crowded.
“I felt in the best interest in my career and their best interest…they wanted to go in a different direction, it was kind of clear they wanted to give the ball to Jake…I just wanted an opportunity to be the guy. I think the Calgary Flames saw that and jumped at the opportunity to get me.
“Talking with Brad, I’m excited just because he’s really happy to get me there and it’s fun as a player to really be appreciated.
“You really want to play for an organization that wants you.”