The deal carries a value of $1.5 million, according to Sirius XM’s John Hoven and the contract is pending a physical from Ehrhoff, who missed a large chunk of last season with multiple concussions. Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register has confirmed all these details with Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi.
Ehrhoff, despite the injury risks, is a great deal at $1.5 million and could go a long ways toward helping the Kings regain playoff-form in 2016.
The deal does throw a bit of confusion into reports throughout the summer that the Columbus Blue Jackets were a potential landing pad for Ehrhoff and that both parties wanted to make it happen. A report late last week said that Ehrhoff wouldn’t be headed to Columbus because the Blue Jackets weren’t able to put a satisfactory number in front of Ehrhoff. Internal budgets may play a part, but with how close Columbus is to the cap, you would guess that $1.5 million would be well within their budget for a player like Ehrhoff, particularly considering the sad state of their blue line.
Maybe the 33-year-old defender took a haircut to play on a team he feels can contend for this Cup this season, but the signing does raise a few questions about the offers he had received previously. Nonetheless, it’s a good signing for the Kings, who lost Andrej Sekera to free agency. The Kings are also down a defenseman with Slava Voynov’s murky situation still lingering just out of view. He’s currently serving jail time for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He’s likely to be released from jail before the start of the season, but his situation with the team and the league is not entirely clear at this point.
Ehrhoff was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres in the summer of 2014 with seven years remaining on a contract that paid him an AAV of $4 million (though the buyout worked out ok for him, with the deal front-loaded, carrying a $10 million first season). Last season he played under a one-year, $4 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring three goals and 11 assists in 49 games.
The Kings current have $4,844,773 in cap space remaining, according to General Fanager, but there’s a dance to be had around Mike Richards contract coming up that could shift that number radically.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.