We welcomed Christian Ehrhoff to the trade rumor mill back in February, so let’s re-welcome him now.
The 31-year-old is just three seasons into a 10-year contract signed in 2011. He has a limited no-trade clause, but the Sabres asked him to supply a list of teams to which he’d accept a trade. Nothing came of the talks, but there’s reason to believe chatter will begin again.
“I think if they want to move me, they can move me,” said Ehrhoff, who thinks he’ll be back next season. “So far, I do. We’ll see. Obviously, it’s not up to me and that remains to be seen.”
Whether he wants to be part of the Sabres’ rebuild is another matter.
“Um,” Ehrhoff said before taking a long pause. “I signed a long-term commitment with the team, and as long as they want me to be here I’m going to do my best for the team. That’s it.”
It stands to reason that Ehrhoff — who’s 10-year, $40 million deal was one of ex-Sabres GM Darcy Regier’s biggest moves — might not be in Buffalo’s future plans (another of Regier’s big gambles, Ville Leino, appears primed to be bought out this summer.)
Even without the Regier factor, Ehrhoff doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for the Sabres right now. He turns 32 in July and would be more suited to play on a team closer to winning a Cup, or at least contending for the playoffs. Buffalo also has a wealth of young blueline talent — Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Jake McCabe, Mark Pysyk — that could probably use minutes at the NHL level rather than have them eaten by Ehrhoff, who the News said “often appeared uninterested as the season dragged on.”
Ehrhoff didn’t exactly downplay that assertion, either.
“It’s definitely tough with the season we had,” he said. “With a season like that, you’re glad to get it over with and start fresh with the new season.”