Buffalo (WKBW.com/Sabres release) As we confirmed with agent Richard Curran on Eyewitness Sports at 6pm, the Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a long-term contract.
TSN is reporting that it is a 10 year deal worth $40 million dollars. According to the report the contract includes a no movement clause, and will pay Ehrhoff 18 million dollars over the first two seasons of the contract.
“I was originally going to wait and see what was available on the free agent market,” said Christian Ehrhoff via Sabres release. “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.”, Ehrhoff continued.
Sabres GM Darcy Regier addressed the media at the HSBC Arena on Thursday evening to talk about the signing. The move was the second in less then a week for the Sabres, who also acquired, and introduced on Thursday morning, Robyn Regher.
"For us the focus has been on our defense. We feel strongly that the goaltending is there, we wanted to improve our defense. With Robyn and Christian it goes a long ways to making our defense a very good NHL defense", said Regier. "The focus tomorrow (Friday) is to do something up front".
Regier says the recent moves point to the change of landscape for the Sabres under new owner Terry Pegula. "I think one of the things that has happened is we are starting to get the benefit of both the combination of the ownership, and the news out there about Buffalo. Turning the perception that exists which is an incorrect image. This is a great place to play hockey, this is a great place to live, this is a great place to raise a family, this is a great place to be" said Regier.
Ehrhoff (7/6/1982, 6’2”, 203 lbs., shoots left) played with Vancouver this season and was seventh among all NHL defensemen in scoring. He posted career highs in points (50) and assists (36) in 79 games, and matched his career best with his second straight 14-goal season. Ehrhoff collected 28 (6+22) of his 50 points on the power play, good for fourth among NHL blueliners. He was also second on the team in blocked shots (108) and time on ice (23:59).
Ehrhoff played in all 23 of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup playoff games, and was second only to San Jose’s Dan Boyle in defenseman scoring with 12 points (2+10).
In 500 career games with Vancouver and San Jose, Ehrhoff has 226 points (53+173), 338 PIMs and is a plus-74. Ehrhoff, who turns 29 next Wednesday, has only missed 15 games in the past five seasons. He also has 34 points (7+27) in 73 career playoff games.
Ehrhoff is a veteran of international play, having represented Germany at the Winter Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010. At just 19 years of age, Ehrhoff was the second youngest player in the 2002 Games.
A native of Moers, Germany, Ehrhoff was originally drafted in the fourth round (106th overall) by San Jose in the 2001 Entry Draft. After playing five seasons with San Jose, he was traded to Vancouver in August 2009.