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Sabres In Focus: Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis earned the least amount of money out of the entire Sabres team this past season, collecting $500,000. Despite being a fourth line starter, Ellis plays his hardest every single game. He is an average player who gives it his all when he is on the ice.

Ellis had played for Detroit and Los Angeles before the Sabres claimed him off of waivers on October 1st, 2008. This past season, Ellis played 72 games and scored three goals (one game winner) and 10 assists.

Ellis played three seasons for the Grand Rapid Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) in the American Hockey League. In the 2004-2005 season, Ellis scored four short-handed goals, matching a Grand Rapid Griffins record. The next year he had three short-handed goals, followed by five more the next year, earning him the nickname “shorty”.

The Grand Rapid Griffins also named Ellis captain for a couple of years, which gave him plenty of confidence. Ellis had to say this about becoming captain:

“It’s definitely a big factor. You can totally tell the difference when there’s a guy out there playing with confidence and when a guy’s unsure of himself. Being a fourth-year pro, it makes a huge difference. Each year, you come in with a little more confidence, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by some great players and coaches who were there to give me a pat on the back or help me out and keep me motivated.”

Ellis will be looking to sign a new contract this Summer, whether it’s with the Sabres or not is still a question. Depending on the moves the team makes this off season, Ellis won’t know immediately if and when he’ll play for the Sabres. Either way, Ellis is an incredibly cheap player who will compete every night.

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