With the Detroit Red Wings in the market for a defenseman and not looking for a rental, Christian Ehrhoff might be the best choice for Ken Holland and the front office.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN was one of the first to report Detroit was interested in the Sabres’ defenseman.
The Red Wings are believed to be among the teams interested in defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, whom the Sabres are shopping.
Christian Ehrhoff is a left-handed, thirty-one year-old defenseman in the third year of a ten-year contract worth forty million dollars at a four million dollar cap hit per season. The Red Wings would not be trading for a rental in Ehrhoff and would be on the hook to pay for seven more seasons, but at only seventeen million dollars of real money since his contract was front loaded.
The Red Wings are looking for a defenseman who can play a ton of minutes and Ehrhoff can certainly do that for Detroit. In Buffalo, he plays around two hundred more minutes than the next defenseman, but with that comes a plus/minus of minus eleven.
Plus/minus does not tell the whole story for Ehrhoff, who actually has the second best plus/minus on the Sabres, and on a team that is in last place in their division the defensemen are going to suffer.
Detroit is looking for defensive help, but since losing Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski they have lost offensive production from their defense and Christian Ehrhoff can help in both departments. Ehrhoff has placed 128 shots on net this season, more than forty more than Kyle Quincey who leads the Red Wings with 81 shots.
Since signing his ten-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres, Ehrhoff’s offensive production has declined, but that is to be expected when moving from a contender like Vancouver to the mess in Buffalo.
In Detroit he would be counted on to take over the second pairing and help out on a power play that is ranked eighteenth in the NHL.
Christian Ehrhoff is worth every penny of his four million dollar cap hit and with the front loaded deal the Red Wing would receive a cap benefit of minus seven million dollars, do to his one million dollar salary of his last three seasons.
The Sabres are selling, but it does not mean they will give Ehrhoff away for nothing. The Sabres will be looking to receive at least a NHL ready prospect, current NHLer, and draft picks in order to boost their already impressive stock pile of first and second round picks in the next two drafts.
Any potential cap recapture due to him retiring early would fall on the Buffalo Sabres.
[UPDATE] Christian Ehrhoff was not traded and remains with the Buffalo Sabres.