Curtis McElhinney
Curtis McElhinney
36-Year-Old GoalieG
Tampa Bay Lightning
2019 Fantasy Outlook
McElhinney latched on with the Lightning in free agency, so he'll serve as the veteran backup to reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy. The 36-year-old netminder will likely see a significant drop in playing time after making a career-high 33 starts for the Hurricanes last season, but McElhinney figures to post great numbers on a per-start basis for a Lightning team that had one of the best regular seasons of all time in 2018-19. While you could do a lot worse as far as backup goalies go, there's not much to get excited about here barring an injury to Vasilevskiy. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract with the Lightning in July of 2019.
Frustrating day in Ottawa
GTampa Bay Lightning
October 12, 2019
McElhinney made 30 saves Saturday in a 4-2 loss to the Senators.
This loss was not on McElhinney. The game was tied at two until the 16:57 mark of the third. And his mates mustered just 21 shots on Craig Anderson at the other end. It's days like this that frustrate fantasy owners, but then, no team can ever be completely discounted.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
McElhinney had the best season of his career as Freddy Andersen's backup in 2017-18. He posted an 11-5-1 record with a sterling 2.15 GAA, .934 save percentage and three shutouts. But at 35 years old, McElhinney may not be able to replicate those incredible numbers. Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard are champing at the bit in the AHL -- they're both ready to move up to the NHL and McElhinney's contract ($800,000) makes him an ideal trade candidate. Whether he plays in Toronto or in another city, McElhinney will be a 20-game starter. His fantasy value is restricted to spot starts in daily leagues, at best.
McElhinney is back as the Buds' backup after delivering a 6-7-0 record in 14 games for the team after he arrived off waivers in January 2017. He delivered a 2.85 GAA and .914 save percentage, and most importantly, he played strong enough hockey that the young team in front of him didn't have to change its style to compensate. McElhinney will likely see 20-25 games for the Leafs this season and may bring value off the wire in daily formats. Otherwise, he's not much of a fantasy consideration.
McElhinney endured a rough 2015-16 campaign, as a knee injury prevented him from taking advantage of Sergei Bobrovsky's own health woes and led to his worst statistical season in a Columbus uniform. The 32-year-old now has competition for the backup job behind Bobrovsky from youngsters Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg, both of whom excelled in the AHL while holding their own in brief NHL stints. Even if McElhinney is fully healthy this year, his time with the Blue Jackets could be drawing to a close as the team continues to look toward the future.
McElhinney received his biggest workload ever last year due to Sergei Bobrovsky's injury woes, and he delivered a surprisingly solid .914 save percentage, making him a roughly average NHL netminder. He returns in a backup role this season, and with Bobrovsky currently healthy, McElhinney's workload is expected to dip back toward 20 starts. Of course, the Russian netminder has certainly not been immune to injury throughout his career, so McElhinney will surely be ready on standby as necessary.
McElhinney did yeoman's work as Sergei Bobrovsky's backup last season, seeing action in 28 games with a 2.70 GAA and .909 save percentage. The Blue Jackets seem content to let him caddy for the Russian starter until one of their younger netminders proves they are ready for the NHL. Unless Bobrovsky gets hurt, McElhinney won't have much fantasy relevance.
After a stellar season for AHL Springfield last season, McElhinney enters camp as the favorite to back up reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky. Barring an injury or major regression by Bobrovsky though, McElhinney won't see much action in that role.
The veteran netminder will provide AHL depth for Columbus, and could see spot duty with the big club if injuries pile up to Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason. McElhinney has played a total of 30 NHL games over the past three seasons for three different clubs: Anaheim, Ottawa and Phoenix before landing in Columbus.
McElhinney spent time in both Anaheim and Ottawa last season, posting a combined 9-13-1 record (including two shutouts) to complement a 3.18 GAA and .897 save percentage. McElhinney will likely not win a considerable netminding role in the desert, but with the Coyotes losing trusted veteran Ilya Bryzgalov to the Flyers, the former Duck will provide experienced depth at the position.
McElhinney was traded to the Ducks last March in a swap of backup netminders. After years of backing up Miikka Kiprusoff in Calgary and seeing very little playing time, McElhinney could be in position to make a career-high number of starts behind Ducks No. 1 Jonas Hiller. In leagues that count total saves rather than save percentage, McElhinney may have some value in deeper formats since the Ducks' blue-line corps has significantly regressed following the retirement of Scott Niedermayer. At any rate, look for McElhinney to finish the year with something closer to 15-20 starts than the half dozen or so he was used for in Calgary.
Expect McElhinney to play more frequently this season as new Flames head coach Brent Sutter made it clear that he plans to rest starter Miikka Kiprusoff more often. The problem is that McElhinney was horrific in his limited work last season. He managed to win one game while losing six. He also posted an unsightly 3.59 goals against average and an .889 save percentage. With those numbers you wouldn't want him on your team even if he was a starter. If you own Kiprusoff you need to know his name but even if he is pressed into action you would need to be desperate to use him. Keep in mind that if he struggles he could be replaced by either Leland Irving or Matt Keetley who will be biding their time in Abbotsford (AHL).
McElhinney looks to be the frontrunner for the No. 2 goalie spot in Calgary, despite being replaced by Curtis Joseph late last season. McElhinney did not play terribly in five games with the Flames last season, putting together an 0-2 record with a 2.00 GAA. Even so, Miikka Kiprusoff rarely gets games off, so McElhinney will see 5-10 games at the very maximum.
McElhinney will battle with Leland Irving for the backup spot to Miikka Kiprusoff this preseason. However, even if he wins the spot, he wins a job similar to Brett Favre's backup, as Kipper has played 73 and 74 games the last two seasons. His job would be to keep the sky from falling when Kiprusoff needs a rest and nothing more. McElhinney could be a good starter in the future, but that is a way off.
McElhinney will likely toil in the minors for all of 2006-07; the Flames have enough depth at the goaltender position at the moment.
More Fantasy News
Facing off against Senators
GTampa Bay Lightning
October 12, 2019
McElhinney will tend the road twine for Saturday's game against the Senators, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
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Swamped in OT loss
GTampa Bay Lightning
October 6, 2019
McElhinney stopped 40 of 44 shots in Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Hurricanes.
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Tending twine Sunday
GTampa Bay Lightning
October 6, 2019
McElhinney will patrol the road crease in Sunday's game versus the Hurricanes, Chip Alexander of The Raleigh News & Observer reports.
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Tending twine against Nashville
GTampa Bay Lightning
September 20, 2019
McElhinney will start in goal in Friday's preseason match against the Predators, Erik Erlendsson of reports.
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Lands two-year deal
GTampa Bay Lightning
July 1, 2019
McElhinney signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract with Tampa Bay on Monday, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports.
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