Jan 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) in play against the Washington Capitals during the game at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Rumors: Christian Ehrhoff Could Bring Offense And Defense To Detroit

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.

If the Detroit Red Wings can make the right deal for Ehrhoff it could have the same impact acquiring Brad Stuart did for them in 2008.

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.

Tags: Christian Ehrhoff Detroit Red Wings

  • Carter

    “If Ehrhoff retires before his last season, Detroit would be penalized with seven million dollars of dead money.”
    This is not correct, as per the CBA the “Luongo Rule” is
    “All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5) years will be accounted for and charged against a team’s Cap (at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.”

    • Peter Fish

      You are correct, I misread it. The Red Wings will receive a cap benefit of -$7,000,000, but any penalty would apply to the Sabres.

  • Curt Wiebe

    I think it’s a great idea to get him. I think our biggest issue is cap space mainly for playoffs if we make it (which we should) is the return of Zetterberg. I think we have to free up around $5M?? I may be wrong.
    I think putting clearly in the minors n getting that .925M cap relief and if we can make a deal for someone to take samuelssons contract for draft exchange like – samuelsson and a 4th round pick for the other teams 6th round pick or something?

    Do u think buffalo would accept a trade for ehrhoff for:
    Landon Ferraro
    1st round 2014
    2nd round 2015?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I would. I’d even swap Ferraro for an even more capable player.