One season after signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Christian Ehrhoff is ready to be an unrestricted free agent once again.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari, Ehrhoff’s agent, Rick Curran, confirmed that Ehroff will be testing the free agent waters once again this off-season.
It had been reported earlier that Ehrhoff would likely hit the open market, with Curran telling Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk that he, “would suggest (Ehrhoff will) be available come July 1.” The latest report, however, solidifies that the 32-year-old blueliner will be heading elsewhere for the 2015-16 season.
Ehrhoff, who had previously inked a 10-year, $40 million dollar deal with the Buffalo Sabres, was bought out less than three years after signing the monster deal, which led to him landing with Pittsburgh for the 2014-15 campaign. The contract with the Penguins, which was thought to be a relatively savvy signing considering Ehrhoff’s perceived value on the open market was more than $4 million per year, looked fantastic, but it didn’t quite pan out for either party.
A series of injuries ranging from a lower body ailment to a head injury kept Ehrhoff watching from the sidelines. By season’s end, he matched his lowest points-per-game production of his career. Curran did say, however, that Ehrhoff is healthy and will be ready for the upcoming season.
Getting just three goals and 14 points out of Ehrhoff in 49 games, the level of play the Penguins had been hoping for wasn’t there, but Ehrhoff still has the ability to be an outstanding power play defenseman and could contribute big time were he to find the right situation.
Ehrhoff’s two best seasons came in 2009-10 and 2010-11, both as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. During those two campaigns, Ehrhoff set and matched his career high for goals, notching 14 in back-to-back years and producing 44 and 50 points in respective seasons. A veteran of more than 740 games, Ehrhoff has 72 goals from the blueline.
The addition of Ehrhoff to the pool of available defensemen this off-season further solidifies that this free agency period could be one all about blueliners. Ehrhoff will be up for grabs alongside players such as Mike Green, Zbynek Michalek, Johnny Oduya and Andrej Sekera.