I don’t mean to sound racist, but I thought only black guys were named Keaton. I just realized that I was confusing Keaton with Keenan. So maybe that’s little racist.

Ellerby though, there’s a goofy Canadian white boy name if I ever heard one.

Keaton Ellerby. King Keaton. Excellent Ellerby. We’ll see. One thing we do know, he is not a tiny Russian forward. This is one big ball of defenseman, one that probably makes Jake Muzzin’s balls shrink.

The Kings need some help, we know this. We didn’t need to be told to know that Dean Lombardi was trying to hunt down a trade for a defensemen to fill in for the massive voids injuries to Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene have left. Lombardi told Lisa Dillman today that “we have to operate on the premise that Willie and Greener are done for the year”. A sad sentiment, but a true one.

Unfortunately the market for defensemen is thin. We aren’t getting any established veterans like Mitchell or Greene for draft picks, and its too early to be trading away core parts of our roster.

And so we get Keaton Ellerby. Physically he weighs in at 217lbs, which makes for a 6’5″ that isn’t the bulkiest. But hockey players are lean and mean, and word is that Keaton knows enough about mean. For the majority of his playing career, he’s racked himself up a fair number of penalty minutes. He’s only had 2 fights in the NHL regular season, but as a young pup he found himself trading punches 20 times over his four seasons in the WHL. Just a few weeks ago he took a few too many licks from that prick Crombeen. Keaton may not be a good fighter, but he stands up for his teammates. You can never have enough players willing to do that. He also isn’t afraid to back up his own big hits.

Ellerby is a former high draft pick. He was taken by Florida at the 10 spot in the first round the infamous 2007 draft. Perhaps there is some subconscious redemptive motivation at work here for Lombardi, since Thomas Hickey is doing so well on Long Island. Consensus seems to be that Keaton still retains much of the potential that got him taken so high but that a change of scenery is the least that can be done to help him unlock that potential, because it ain’t happening in Florida. Lets be serious though, the Panthers are not an organization known for developing and nurturing great talent. While we shouldn’t expect Ellerby to step in an do some serious damage or be a major upgrade to the Kings defense, certainly nothing close to replacing Greene or Mitchell, he should be a help and if nothing, a wake-up call to Jake Muzzin that simply towing the line isn’t gonna cut it. Muzzin hasn’t been bad, but the motto has to be ‘stand out or sit down.’

What concerns me is that the Kings still essentially have three 7th defensemen on the roster. If Ellerby can prove himself to bring an element the Kings defense is currently lacking on defense, be that shot blocking, rock steady positional play or a snarling edge, then I can consider the Kings to have a legitimate top 5 on the back end.

We always want to hope for the best when a new player comes to town, and right now the best doesn’t mean much compared to the drivel we’ve seen from the Kings for large portions of the young circumcised season. Ellerby comes to us by way of the 5th round pick acquired from the Devils the other day for Andrei Loktionov. So one could say, if one was so inclined, that Lombardi effectively traded Loktionov, a former 5th round pick who had not panned out as of yet, for a former 1st round pick that has kinda-sorta panned out. It makes that trade seem less lame. For now.

Ellerby gets paid just under $800k this year and is an RFA at the end of the year. We should see him in a Kings uniform Sunday against the Blues Wings.

I have nothing else to say about this.