Sabres buy out Ehrhoff: 'He quite frankly doesn't want to be here'

Jun 29, 12:07 PM

The Buffalo Sabres have yet to confirm the buyout of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, though general manager Tim Murray spoke to John Vogl of The Buffalo News Sunday.

If he wants to go on waivers, obviously he won’t be bought out. We’re not going to put him on waivers for another team to select. When he tells us that, ‘No, I don’t want to go on waivers. I just want to be bought out,’ then we will probably buy him out. That’s in their court now.

Ehrhoff will be 38 years old at the end of his deal, meaning the Sabres could be subject to a cap penalty due to his front-loaded contract if he were to retire before playing out his deal.

Murray didn't have any reservations about buying out Ehrhoff.

"The fact that he quite frankly doesn't want to be here makes it easy," Murray said. "He’s made I believe $22 million in three years and feels that we’re not going in the right direction, but he really hasn't had much part in the direction the team has gone. So time to move on."

The subject of buying out Ehrhoff came up around the trade deadline as the Sabres could not move such a large contract (seven years, $40 million remaining) to another team. Murray knew this was a possibility when he took the job last season.

"Since I got here we've talked about this... We've talked about the repercussions of the contract with the penalties that the league has put on it."

Feature photo courtesy of Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 29, 10:17 AM

Report: Sabres finalize compliance buyout of Christian Ehrhoff's contract

Jun 29, 10:17 AM

The Buffalo Sabres have finalized a compliance buyout of puck moving defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie

The 31-year-old Ehrhoff is a noted fitness zealot who remains productive and effective. He instantly becomes the best unrestricted free-agent defender on the market.

A talented offensive defenseman, Ehrhoff surely had trade value, but the cap benefit recapture risk carried by his contract is so enormous that the Sabres likely judged the value of eliminating that liability as being greater than the value of any hockey assets that the German defenseman might net in a trade return. 

Speaking with John Vogl of the Buffalo News on Sunday, Sabres general manager Tim Murray said that Ehrhoff's contract - and presumably the recapture concern specifically - was a "major factor" in this decision. He went on to suggest that Ehrhoff's inability to improve the club and clear desire not to play in Buffalo was a consideration as well.

Ehrhoff has a no-movement clause on his contract and can decline to be placed on unconditional $125 waivers prior to his deal being terminated. A buyout of Ehrhoff's contract will cost the Sabres $12 million dollars spread out over 14 years per capgeek.com.

Feature photo courtesy of Russell LaBounty / USA TODAY Sports