Ellis' number six raised to rafters by Windsor Spitfires
By Chris Savard
Tonight, the Windsor Spitfires raised the number six worn by Ryan Ellis to the rafters - the greatest honour a player can receive from his former team. His numbers rank him as the all-time leading scoring amongst defencemen in Spitfire history. In his introduction tonight, he was described as being the most decorated rearguard to ever don a Windsor jersey.
Windsor - January 30, 2016 - Tonight, the Windsor Spitfires raised the number six worn by Ryan Ellis to the rafters - the greatest honour a player can receive from his former team.
The diminutive defenceman has taken his place atop the WFCU Centre amongst other names like Graves, Renaud, Bowler, Quenneville and Pronovost. A full list of retired jerseys can be found below.
The Windsor Spitfires won back-to-back Memorial Cup championships in 2009 and 2010 - one of only five teams in CHL history to repeat. Of those five teams, there are only a total of 45 players who were with their team for both Cup wins. Ellis is part of this elite group with other names like Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique from Windsor, Marc Crawford and Dale Hawerchuk from the Cornwall Royals, Stan Smyl from the New Westminster Bruins, Jarome Iginla and Darcy Tucker from the Kamloops Blazers and Trevor Linden of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Robert Savard is the only player to win three consecutive titles (two with Cornwall and one with the Kitchener Rangers).
Ellis finished his four seasons in Windsor with 314 points in 226 regular season games, 88 playoff points in 62 games and 9 points in 10 Memorial Cup games. He also amassed 25 points in 19 World Junior games for Team Canada. Very impressive numbers indeed.
His numbers rank him as the all-time leading scoring amongst defencemen in Spitfire history. In his introduction tonight, he was described as being the most decorated rearguard to ever don a Windsor jersey.
He was named to the CHL and OHL All-Rookie Teams in 2008 the First OHL All-Star Team in 2009 and 20011 the Second OHL All-Star Team in 2011. He was awarded the OHL's Bobby Smith Trophy as the League's scholastic player of the year in 2008, the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the top defenceman in 2009 and 2011 and the Red Tilson Trophy as the most outstanding player in 2011. He was also named CHL Defenceman and Player of the Year in 2011.
Ellis was drafted 11th overall in 2009 by the Nashville Predators. He is closing in on 100 career NHL points with the Preds and his emergence as a solid big league D-man is a big reason why Nashville recently traded highly touted prospect Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ellis still looks back fondly to his days in Windsor. Prior to the game, he said, "Honestly, I miss it. It's a great city, a great hockey city. Its good to come back and see some old faces and tonight the barn will be rocking."
The former Spits captain has always been a class act according to team photographer Tim Cornett. "When he was here he was a great kid and to this day he is always quick to respond to my emails", said Cornett. Ellis was seen signing countless autographs tonight for young OHL fans. "That just the kind of guy he is, he would have stayed there all night", added Cornett.
Congrats to Ellis on a successful junior career and having his number raised with other Spitfire legends. Well deserved.
It is commonly felt that Taylor Hall's number 4 will be next.
GAME NOTES -The Windsor Spitfires trounced the London Knights by a score of 8-3 in front of 6,504 fans at the WFCU Centre. The crowd was the second largest ever in the building, behind only opening night. Bradley Latour lead the way for the home team with a hat-trick including one on a penalty shot and one on a bad giveaway by London keeper Tyler Parsons. Logan Stanley had a pair and Logan Brown, Hayden McCool and Mikhail Sergachev had singles. Mitch Marner, Max Jones and Chris Martenet replied for the Knights.
SPITS RETIRED NUMBERS
4 - Marcel Pronovost
6 - Ryan Ellis
6 - Joel Quenneville
9 - Bill Bowler
9 - Adam Graves
11 - Gord Haidy
14 - Adam Henrique
14 - Ed Jovanovski
14 - Steve Ott
15 - Ernie Godden
18 - Mickey Renaud
23 - Scott Miller
Photos by Tim Cornett, Windsor Spitfires
In his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org