On Sunday, June 29 Buffalo Sabres General Manager Tim Murray announced that the organization had used their second compliance buyout on defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The Sabres used their first compliance buyout on forward Ville Leino on June 18.
Ehrhoff had seven years remaining on a 10-year, $40 million contract he signed in July of 2011, which carried an annual cap hit of $4 million per season.
Ehrhoff, who turns 32 on July 6, played 192 games with the Sabres over the past three seasons, scoring 16 goals and adding 71 assists for 87 total points, while recording 119 penalty minutes and a minus-23 rating.
Ehrhoff was initially drafted by the San Jose Sharks 106th overall in the fourth round of the 2001 NHL Draft. Ehrhoff would go on to play 341 games with the Sharks from 2003 to 2009, compiling 25 goals and 107 assists for 132 points, to go along with 244 assists and a plus-19 rating.
Ehrhoff would then be traded to the Vancouver Canucks in August of 2009, where he would play for two seasons from 2009 to 2011. In 159 games with the Canucks, Ehrhoff had 28 goals and 66 assists for 94 points, 94 penalty minutes, and a plus-55 rating. He set career highs in goals ((14), assists (36) and points (50) during the 2010-2011 season, helping the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
After the 2010-2011 season, the Canucks traded Ehrhoff’s contract negotiation rights to the New York Islanders on June 28, 2011. However, Ehrhoff would not sign with the Islanders, who then traded his rights to the Sabres on the following day, where he would ultimately sign his 10-year, $40 million contract two days later.
After the news of the buyout was reported, Christian Ehrhoff posted the following statement on his twitter page:
“Thanks to the great community of WNY, sabres fans and sabres organization for welcoming me and my family with open arms these past 3 years!”
With the compliance buyout which will see the Sabres pay him $12 million over the next 14 years, Ehrhoff now becomes an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team starting on Tuesday, July 1.