Matt Ellis signs on to keep leading Amerks

Matt Ellis is back in Rochester, and he’s here to help.

The Buffalo Sabres announced earlier today that they’ve re-signed the 31-year-old Ellis to a two-year, two-way contract.

Though he still has desire to play in the NHL, the Welland, Ont. product said he wants to help the young talent make it in the bigs. But it’s not just about helping the young guns, he also wants to play for a championship.

Ellis told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that he is honoured to be able to wear the ‘C’ for the Americans.

Over the last 11 years, Ellis has moved around quite a bit. After playing his first four season with Detroit Red Wings affiliate Grand Rapids — a team which Ellis captained before moving on to having a brief stint in the NHL with Detroit and the Los Angeles Kings — he settled in with the Sabres organization. In 2008-09, Ellis was primarily on the NHL roster, but come 2010-11, Ellis’ role within the organization changed.

Since 2010-11, Ellis has played 144 AHL games. While not exactly a point producer — Ellis has contributed 20 goals and 31 assists over that time — he’s a steady veteran presence that helps the young talent develop.

The two-year deal will pay Ellis $300,000 in the AHL and $550,000 in the bigs, and he hopes it will set him up for a future in the game.

From the Democrat and Chronicle:

“When I met with Darcy (Regier, the Sabres general manager), I asked what things I can do to put some pieces in place for life in the future,” he said. “I don’t see myself ever being without hockey.”

Ellis embodies the spirit of NHL veterans who have come before him. While he may not produce like a Mike Keane or Darren Haydar, being able to help develop talent makes Ellis a valuable asset.