Sabres acquire rights to Christian Ehrhoff

Did anyone see this one coming? Didn’t think so.

In a surprise move, and an encouraging one, word broke tonight that the Buffalo Sabres have acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Christian Ehrhoff.

Ehrhoff’s rights were acquired from the New York Islanders in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The move comes after the former Canucks defenseman was acquired by the Isles Tuesday from Vancouver. The Islanders, not exactly a premier destination, tried in vain to sign him before Friday when he hits the market, but could not get a deal done.

Snow would not divulge to Newsday how much he offered Ehrhoff, but the number was “well north” of the five-year, $23 million contract Vancouver gave to defenseman¬†Kevin Bieksa, according to the newspaper.

“We made a significant offer,” Snow told the newsaper. “I don’t want to get into specific numbers, but I felt like we made a good offer and a good run to get Christian to sign.”

Snow added: “We took a step in the last 24 hours to get a quality player signed. It didn’t work in this instance, but we’ll keep trying to get top talent here.”

Now the clock is running for Darcy Regier to get the German-born defenseman to sign. Ehrhoff had a solid season for the Western Conference champions, registering 14 goals and 50 points in 79 games. He was key for the Canucks in their run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, but had a rough Finals, going -7 over the seven games. In his two seasons with Vancouver, he was +55 in 159 games.

Obviously the move indicates that the Sabres have had their eye on him. The question is if they can convince him to join the roster. The Isles’ offer of approximately $33 million over 6 years wasn’t enough to convince him, but possibly a similar offer along with the prospect of playing with a fellow countryman and opening next season in his homeland might be enough to sway him.

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Posted on June 29, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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