Christian Ehrhoff signs longterm deal with Sabres
Darcy Regier continues to show his brilliance as an NHL GM, signing veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a 10 year, 40 million dollar contract. The blue-liner will earn 13 million in signing bonuses over the next 2 years, in addition to 5 million in actual salary. He will make just 1 million dollars per year over the last 3 years of his contract, making him very easy to buyout if necessary. Ehrhoff turned down a deal from the Islanders 2 days ago which reportedly would have paid him 33 million dollars over 6 years, and a long term deal with Vancouver which would have paid him 4.5 million dollars a year.
Ehrhoff had a career high 14 goals and 50 points this season for the Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks. He is a durable player, playing 395 out of a possible 410 NHL games in the past 5 years. He will be a captain of the powerplay, something the Sabres haven’t truly had since the departure of Brian Campbell. And they got all this for just 4 million dollars a year.
What kind of bizarro world is this? The Sabres trade for Regehr, and it feels like the change has “hit me.” Now they’ve signed Ehrhoff, and it’s gone to another level. We’re Buffalo, people don’t want to play here. What if we sign Brad Richards tomorrow. I don’t even know how I’ll react, other than with pure jubilation.
The Sabres now have a very good top 4 defense corps, with Robyn Regehr, Tyler Myers, Jordan Leopold and Ehrhoff. Also on the roster are Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber and Marc-Andre Gragnani. One of those 3, or perhaps even Leopold, could be included in a package for a #1 center, which is now the Sabres only major need. Brad Richards remains a possibility, according to most rumor sites, but if he goes to New York, Buffalo certainly has the tools to make a major trade.
“I was originally going to wait and see what was available on the free agent market,” said Christian Ehrhoff. “After the Sabres acquired my rights and I spoke with Terry Pegula and Darcy Regier, I did my due diligence on the team and I was very impressed. I called some former teammates and others in the NHL who also had great things to say and I was aware that Robyn Regehr had waived his no-trade clause in his contract this week to join the Sabres. My goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and after the offer I received from Buffalo, I believe this is the best place to make it happen.”
Teams in the East must be taking notice. What Terry wants, Terry gets. No player is off limits anymore. It looks as if Ehrhoff even took a pay cut to come play here. He turned down more from Vancouver, albeit the deal was reportedly half the length. He turned down the Islanders, because he wanted to win. Buffalo is now seen around the league as a contender. How awesome is that? And just think, the ride has just begun.