Ryan Ellis said he has moved past the surprise of being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers and is focused on helping them win the Stanley Cup.
The defenseman was acquired from the Nashville Predators on Saturday for defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick, who was then traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Cody Glass.
“First time going through it, so a bit of a shock to the system to me and my family,” Ellis said Tuesday. “But looking forward from here and we’re excited to get there, get settled and start a chase for the Cup.”
Ellis said he’s spoken to a few of his new teammates, which has allowed him to begin growing a certain level of comfort at switching teams after playing 10 seasons for the Predators.
“Once I’m settled and have my family all settled in and everything’s kind of played out and I’m back on the ice with the guys, I think that’ll be the time that everything kind of calms down for me personally,” he said. “Knowing my family’s all set up and safe and sound, and once that’s done, I think I’ll be ready to go and even more excited.”
The Flyers are excited at what Ellis can bring. Philadelphia allowed an NHL-high 3.52 goals per game this season, and one reason was a lack of consistency among the defense pairs. Ellis likely will play on the right side of the first pair with Ivan Provorov. He also is expected to skate on the power play and penalty kill.
“Ryan is an excellent all-around defenseman,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Saturday. “In our opinion, he’s one of the best passers in the game on the blue line. He’s great in transition, he can play the power play, he’s got a heavy shot, and he’s a very good penalty killer.
“He’s been part of the leadership group in Nashville for a while. He is a competitive, team-oriented type of player. We think he’s a really well-rounded hockey player, a quality person and somebody that we feel very fortunate that we were able to add to our group today.”
Ellis, though, said he isn’t concerned about where he fits into the lineup at this point.
“I’m looking forward to competing with the guys, and at this point in my career all I want to do is win,” he said. “This organization’s got a winning standard and expectations to do so. For me, I’m going to try and play my game and help the team out any way I can going forward, and if that’s scoring goals or stopping goals, doing both, whatever it takes to help this team win.
“I just try to do whatever the team needs at the time to win, whether it be blocking shots or making defensive plays, if we’re down cheating on offense, trying to make plays happen offensively. I pride myself on being a team-first guy, so like I said, whatever it takes to win at that time that’s hopefully what you’re going to see out of me.”
Ellis also said he’s healthy after missing 20 games with a broken knuckle in his hand. He was injured Feb. 28 and returned April 10 to play in Nashville’s remaining 14 regular-season games and all six games of a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup First Round.
“I’m good, I’m healthy, I’m hungry, I’m happy and excited to be a member of the Flyers,” he said.