The Detroit Red Wings are rumored to be highly interested in acquiring defenseman, Christian Ehrhoff when NHL Free Agency kicks off on Tuesday at noon.
The Buffalo Sabres bought out the final seven years of Ehrhoff’s contract, which had $18 million remaining. He’ll be paid two-thirds of that amount over twice the remaining length of the deal ($12 million over the next 14 years).
I’m hearing the Wings-Ehrhoff have mutual interest
— Adrian Dater (@adater) June 29, 2014
Per Ansar Khan of Michigan Live, “The Red Wings inquired about Ehrhoff at this year’s trade deadline, but the Buffalo Sabres hung onto him. Now teams don’t need to part with any assets to acquire Ehrhoff after the Sabres used a compliance buyout on him.”
It is a logical move for both sides and the Wings actually tried to acquire Ehrhoff at the last deadline.
While Detroit would prefer a right-hander and Ehrhoff is a lefty, a defenseman is the top priority nonetheless. Not to mention that Ehrhoff possess many attributes that the Wings convent. He has good size at 6’2″ – 196, has good puck-handling abilities and is a power-play specialist.
“We got seven left-hand D. I love (to have a righty), but how do you get it?” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said over the weekend at the NHL entry draft in Philadelphia. “It’s great to have this fantasy; like (general manager) Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him, but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”
The Wings have been searching for years to find a viable replacement for the great Nicklas Lidstrom. Last season the Wings leaky blue line was 17th in goals allowed. They were also one of many teams that spoke to the representatives of Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle, the top two defenseman in a weak free-agent class. Boyle is a more affordable option, but will turn 38 on July 12.
Ehrhoff turns 32 on July 6. He has six goals, 27 assists and a minus-27 rating in 79 games this past season.