By Mike Harrington
The Rochester Amerks love having Matt Ellis as their captain. When he entered the dressing room after a television interview following his shootout-winning goal Friday night in Frontier Field, his teammates erupted in cheers that entertained the media waiting outside the room. Goalie Matt Hackett and center Johan Larsson, both acquired from Minnesota in April, spoke at length about Ellis' impact on the Sabres' young prospects.
As it turns out, the Amerks will be without Ellis tonight in Syracuse but you know they feel good for him too. That's because the 32-year-old has gotten the call to come back and rejoin the Sabres for this afternoon's game against the Calgary Flames in First Niagara Center.
The team has just confirmed Ellis' recall but has yet to announce a corresponding move. One may not need to be made as Ellis could simply take the spot of Mikhail Grigorenko, on loan to Russia for the World Junior Championships. There is no morning skate today and we'll hear from Ted Nolan around noon to see if Ellis will play today in place of Cody Hodgson, who did not dress Thursday in Ottawa.
Ellis has five goals and five assists in 25 games for Rochester this year. He has played parts of the last five seasons for the Sabres, including 72 games in their 2009-2010 Northeast Division championship season and a seven-goal output in 2008-09.