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Senators break goaltending logjam

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators have cleared some space in the crease.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced Monday afternoon a trade that sends goaltender Alex Auld to the Dallas Stars for a sixth-round pick (obtained from the San Jose Sharks) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

For Auld, the Stars represent his sixth home in the National Hockey League. Following earlier stints with the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes and Boston Bruins, he signed a two-year contract with the Senators last summer.

Auld and Brian Elliott had been expected to duel for the backup goaltending job when the Senators assembled for 2009-10 training camp in September. Pascal Leclaire, acquired in a March deadline deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, is set to be the starter, with Elliott now clearly established as the No. 2 guy between the pipes.

Though he was originally signed to back up veteran Martin Gerber last season, Auld wound up seeing 43 games of action, posting a 16-18-7 record with a 2.47 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. But the 28-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ont., watched Elliott play the majority of the games over the final two months of the season.

Elliott, 24, the Senators' ninth-round selection in the 2003 NHL draft, went 16-8-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .902 save percentage after being called up in January.  Prior to that, he was named a starting goaltender for the AHL All-Star Classic after a standout first half of the season with the Binghamton Senators (18-8-1, 2.31, .926).

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