Sabres Sign Christian Ehrhoff: Let Free Agency Begin, You Mean it Hasn’t?
The Buffalo Sabres traded a fourth round pick to the New York Islanders for negotiation rights to free agent defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, and unlike the Islanders (and Vancouver for that matter) the Sabres brass were able to get the deal done. Another sign that it's a new era for the Buffalo Sabres, and free agent players like what they see. Last week Terry Pegula convinced Robyn Regehr that Buffalo was the place to be next season. Erhoff was convinced by a 10 year (that's right 10 year), $40 million contract.
At 29, he's likely not going to see the end of that deal. But the NHL salary cap is a joke, and by spreading the money out over 10 years it allows the Sabres to afford him. He'll be paid the bulk of his money in the first couple of years. Only time will tell if the Sabres overspent, but if Erhoff produces like he did the last 3 seasons, look out.
He's been one of the more productive players on the blueline with 136 points in that span, ranking 9th in the league among defenseman. He scored 14 goals and had 50 points last year. He's also the power play quarterback the Sabres have lacked.
The Sabres blueline is suddenly crowded, so look for them to trade away one of their younger guns like Marc Andre Gragnani or Anreaj Sekera for the top line center they desperatly need. And if that doesn't work...today is the opening day of free agency... and Terry Pegula is looking to win the Stanley Cup. Based on his moves so far, he's likely to get the player he wants.