Let me explain. My brother was able to get in contact with the Bolts new (possible) starting goalie Dan Ellis. We asked if he would mind answering a few questions for the site. He said said “sure thing”. Not only did he answer our questions, he also said if we needed anything else just to ask him. So I figured I might as well get this out of the way… Hey Dan, do you need anyone to hang out with during intermissions at home games? I’ll be in section 302 if you do. Just let me know. Until then, here is the interview….
(seriously though, do you?)
BBTB: I know in football, players will pay others who have the number that they want, what’s going to happen with you and Mike Lundin?
DE: If Mike wants to change his number I would take the 39, but otherwise I see as he got to it first and I will just choose a new number. I was thinking of either going back to 30 which I have worn since growing up or I would change to 33 a new number to symbolize a fresh start.
BBTB: Smitty always has cool mask designs; any ideas for your first as a Bolt?
DE: I have already begun creating a couple of designs for this season. I work with Dave Gunnersson (Daveart.com) from Sweden and we always look forward to creating amazing and original designs. I usually send Dave a concept and he takes it to the next level!
BBTB: I know you said that you and Montreal were too far apart on numbers for your contract, did any other teams make offers other than the Bolts?
DE: I had a handful of options when free agency began, but Tampa seemed like the best fit overall for my career and for my family. Tampa seems to have all the pieces in place to make a for a great future.
BBTB: Do you think your friendship with Mike Smith will make the competition for starting keeps easier or tougher?
DE: Mike and I have done this before and we always remained close. I have found that our competition has brought the best out of each other and that is good news for our team-to have two goalies playing at their highest level possible.
BBTB: I think that if I saw Chris Neil in real life, I would have a hard time containing my distaste for him. Are you excited about potentially watching Smitty punch Chris Neil in the face again this year?
DE: Smitty is more than capable of handling himself and if it takes place I will definitely have his back.
BBTB: Is there anyone you’ve played against who annoys you to no end?
DE: Not really, overall I just get a little annoyed by the rats in the league that stir the pot and then won’t drop their gloves.
BBTB: Did the fact that Steve Yzerman is one of the most respected players of all time have an impact on your signing in Tampa?
DE: Absolutely. I started following the Tampa organization during their ownership change. And when Mr. Vinnik hired Steve Yzerman I knew that this was a team that was going to make a change in the right direction. Steve has the respect of being a hall of fame level player and with his experiences in The Olympics he has taken that understanding of the game and applied it to management. We saw his results with Team Canada and that is the hope for Tampa.
BBTB: I have a buddy who plays in the MLB. He is consistent in his lack of confidence facing one particular player. Are there any players who instill a level of fear in goaltenders throughout the league?
DE: I think any player that imposes a challenge to you as a goaltender, it is your responsibility to learn their tendencies and reverse the threat. You always need to stay ahead of the curve and get an edge or you will lose ground quickly.
BBTB: Have you had a chance to assess the Lightning roster? If so, do you feel that we have a chance to compete for a top 4 spot in the East in 2010-2011?
DE: The roster will change a number of times throughout the summer. But, I see all the right players in the right places. We have a great d-core and our top 5 forwards can contend with anyone in the league. I don’t know many of the players beyond our top 5, but I am sure they will great too. I can definitely see our team back in the top 4 in the East and I think that is the expectation of the entire group.
BBTB: Why aren’t more hockey players on Twitter?
DE: Some guys are a little more private in their day to day life and others just don’t know or like Twitter. But, I am sure we can convert a few more soon.
BBTB: Now that you’re a Bolt, you have to stop liking the Red Sox. Has this happened yet!!!?
DE: Well our owner in a minority owner of the Sox so to keep him happy I won’t make a full conversion, but I will follow the Rays much more and cheer for them just the same. As long as the Yankees do not win, I will be happy!
Our thanks to Dan for being so cool and doing this interview. You should follow him on twitter @dellis39
You can also follow us on twitter to. @ImtheStaggers and @TheTampaTrio