What we learned about Ryan Ellis during his first Flyers presser

NHL: MAY 23 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round – Hurricanes at Predators
NASHVILLE, TN – MAY 23: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) is shown prior to Game 4 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes, held on May 23, 2021, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire)

For the first time since becoming a Philadelphia Flyer, Ryan Ellis spoke directly with the Philadelphia media.

It is unexpected when a top player begins a new journey with another franchise. Chuck Fletcher had to make a power move this offseason to correct many shortcomings from a season ago. Due to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft taking place tomorrow and the flat cap era, moving star players have become common.

Ryan Ellis has been one of the better defensive players throughout the entire NHL. This past season saw a dip in performance but was highly formidable compared to other defensemen in 2020-2021.

As the defense upgrades following Ellis’ arrival, the Flyers go back to the drawing board to improve. All reports about injuries were greatly exaggerated. “Unacceptable” is a word that resonated when Fletcher spoke to the media about the previous season. Ellis stated, “all I want to do is win.” After merging those sentiments, the expectation increases when analyzing this press conference.

Communicating with Ivan Provorov

Already, Ryan Ellis realizes he has an opportunity to play with “an awesome player” in Ivan Provorov. Though the trade took place three days ago, the lack of communication between the two partners on the top pair raised an eyebrow.

That’s your partner, the peanut butter to your jelly. It’s been three days, and there hasn’t been any communication. We can give the benefit of the doubt. Getting settled and letting a trade sink in takes time, especially when Ellis spent a decade with the Nashville Predators.

Earlier this month, Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere were skating together. Provorov did go back to Russia, but Gostisbehere remains local. Ellis ought to pick up where Provorov left off. By conditioning with Gostisbehere, he’ll become more familiar with a veteran Philadelphia Flyers defenseman. He’ll also be able to pick Gostisbehere’s brain regarding playing with Provorov and quarterbacking the powerplay.

Although they hadn’t played against each other often, Ellis noticed that the Flyers have a great core and looks forward to playing in Philadelphia.

Ryan Ellis Is A Fighting Fit

Any rumors about a shoulder injury come with a heaping helping of salt. Ryan Ellis debunked that myth during his presser:

Surgery wasn’t necessary for the broken bone in his hand. He waited for everything to heal. The Philadelphia Flyers successfully traded for a top-pair defenseman who’s completely healthy.

Recently, Ed Barkowitz mentioned that he played 35 games, missing 20 due to shoulder surgery.

Either way, Ellis is supremely confident in his health. At peak condition, Ellis is a perfect fit to bring the Flyers back to form. Due to these reportedly inaccurate reports, fans were wary of how durable he’ll be in 2021-2022. Following his press conference, those worries should’ve evaporated.

“All I Want To Do Is Win”

Same, Ryan Ellis. That’s a feeling shares with the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans.

Moreso now than recent offseasons, that sentiment is being preached. Claude Giroux expressed his dissatisfaction with last season, knowing his window is closing while presenting his desire to win. It’s becoming contagious, changing the culture from a soft 2020-2021 campaign. Chuck Fletcher vents his malcontent last season, aggressively pressing the right buttons in this offseason thus far.

Ellis, stating the obvious, is a breath of fresh air.

He prides himself on being a “team first guy.” Openly understanding his commitment to getting the job done in all aspects of defense makes him a perfect fit with the Flyers. Alain Vigneault wants to decrease the GAA% the team allows. Last season, Philadelphia ranked among the league’s worst in that aspect. They will improve in 2021-2022.

“This organization has a winning standard, and I want to help. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help this team win.”

Ryan Ellis; 7/20/21

Ellis will wear #94 this season, as recently announced by the Philadelphia Flyers on social media.

Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire