And with that, the era of the Kostitsyn brothers in Montreal has come to a close.
The younger brother of Canadiens forward Andrei, Kostitsyn has spent parts of the past three seasons in Montreal, and it was, at times, a rather tumultuous ride. He was suspended by the team in September after he refused to report to the Minor League affiliate in Hamilton, and was later ordered off the ice by head coach Jacques Martin during the Canadiens' playoff series with Pittsburgh.
In 155 games with Montreal the 23-year-old winger scored 24 goals to go with 44 assists. His work ethic has been questioned at times throughout his career, so how he will potentially fit into Barry Trotz's system in Nashville -- a hard-working, "lunch pail" type of team -- remains to be seen ... though, it should be interesting to watch unfold.
Meanwhile, Montreal was in need of another goaltender after trading playoff hero Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues for a pair of prospects earlier this month. Ellis is scheduled to enter free agency on Thursday, but could prove to be a nice safety net -- and an affordable one -- in the event that Carey Price fails to step up and handle the No. 1 job ... assuming Montreal is able to come to an agreement with him.
As it stands, neither goaltender is under contract, as Price himself is a restricted free agent.
Ellis, 30, spent the past three seasons with the Predators and split starts with both Chris Mason (before he was traded following the 2007-08 season) and Pekka Rinne. His best season was, by far, the '07-08 campaign when he finished with the best save percentage in the NHL, posting a .924 mark in 44 starts. He was able to follow up the strong regular season showing in the playoffs, stopping 225 of the 240 shots (.938) he faced in a six-game series against the Detroit Red Wings. His numbers dropped a bit the past two seasons.
Judging by his initial reaction on Twitter (technology: it's fantastic), Ellis seems excited about the possibility of joining the Canadiens:
Very excited about the trade! Its an honor to be part of a team with such great tradition and passion! Hope we can figure something out!He's probably not the biggest name available on the free agent list when it comes to goaltenders (lagging behind Evgeni Nabokov, Chris Mason and maybe even Marty Turco), but he probably could have been -- and still could be if he doesn't come to terms with Montreal -- a valuable commodity on the open market. Especially in an era when teams have been able to win without "big name" goalies. He would be a great fit, perhaps in a goaltender rotation, similar to the way he was used in Nashville, on a team with a strong defense and without a clear-cut No. 1 netminder ... kind of like Montreal (sorry, I'm not ready to call Price a clear No. 1, so I like the fit for the Canadiens).
Boyd, the other player going to Montreal, spent last season with Calgary and Nashville, scoring 11 goals (matching a career-high) in 78 games.