Christian Ehrhoff has decided he'll be happy in Buffalo. After Vancouver dealt his negotiating rights to the Islanders, the free agent to be told Garth Snow no yesterday- forcing another deal with the Sabres last night. Well, apparently the Sabres are what the soon to be 29-year old German defenseman had in mind, reportedly agreeing to a three-year deal worth an average of $5.4 million per season.
A former fourth round pick with the Sharks, the puckmoving blueliner fared well after being dealt to Vancouver two years ago for prospects Daniel Rahimi and Patrick White. He improved on his career best 42 points in '08-09 with San Jose by increasing to 44 in '09-10 and 50 this past season that saw the Canucks win the President's Trophy, going all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup before losing to Boston in their third appearance. Ehrhoff attained new highs in assists (36), points (50), power play points (28) and shots (209) over 79 contests with Vancouver. He also connected six times on the power play for a second consecutive year while posting a respectable plus-19 rating. Over two seasons as a Canuck, he went 28-66-94 with 94 penalty minutes, a plus-55 rating, 12 PPG and six game-winners.
Despite an outstanding season that included 13 points (2-11-13) during the postseason, Ehrhoff was a minus-13 with most of his production (1-7-8) via the Canucks' top rated power play. Vancouver was no match for Boston, who won the battle of special teams and outphysicaled them en route to their first Cup since '72.
While Ehrhoff can definitely give Buffalo a boost offensively, he can be attacked in his end and comes at a hefty price. However, with a back line that also features Tyler Myers, Jordan Leopold, recently acquired Robyn Regehr and Marc-Andre Gragnani, the Sabres should be formidable. Perhaps new owner Terry Pegula is serious when he says he wants to bring a championship to Buffalo.