The Blues announced Thursday evening that the club has assigned goaltender Brian Elliott to the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Peoria Rivermen for conditioning. Because it is a conditioning assignment, Elliott is not required to clear waivers.
Elliott has not played since March 5 against the Los Angeles Kings. Thursday’s game will be the 11th consecutive game that Elliott has found himself sidelined.
Elliott’s season has been one he would just as soon forget coming off a brilliant 2011-12 campaign.
Elliott led all National Hockey League (NHL) goaltenders in save percentage and goals against average last season. This year, Elliott sits dead last in the league with a .851 save percentage and has only three wins in 11 opportunities. Elliott allowed 58 goals in 38 games; he has allowed 33 goals already this season.
The Blues inked the 27-year-old net minder to a two-year, $3.6 million contract this past offseason to reward the goaltender for his 2011-12 season. So far this season, rookie net minder Jake Allen has played in one more game than Elliott.
Allen’s solid goaltending has made him the Blues’ go-to guy of late, forcing Elliott out of the lineup. The Blues gave Elliott numerous chances to earn back his spot, but each time he left much to be desired. Allen rose to the occasion and stole the job to everyone’s surprise.
Elliott will play two games in Peoria with the Rivermen. He will be in net on Friday as the Rivermen face off against Oklahoma City and on Saturday against Lake Erie. He will return to the Blues after Saturday’s game according to the club.
Elliott had to agree to the conditioning assignment before the Blues could send him to Peoria. Under collective bargaining rules, Elliott will receive the same salary and benefits despite being in the AHL.