Another defenseman, another silent "H."
But luckily for the Kings, Christian Ehrhoff is a considerably better player than the
dearly departed recently retired Robyn Regehr (sorry, Reg, but please enjoy your retirement!).
By late August, you may have been slightly
panicked concerned about the Kings' defensive depth - or rather, lack thereof. With Andrej Sekera leaving, Colin Miller going to Boston in the Milan Lucic trade and a very weak free agent class, options were limited. What remains in house did not inspire confidence for a team looking to recapture glory. Jamie McBain, Jeff Schultz and Derek Forbort competing for the sixth and seventh defense spots (assuming Slava Voynov is not ready to play) may have made some people feel a bit uneasy.
But then, on August 23, 2015, Dean Lombardi reached into his magic bag of tricks and announced that the team had come to terms on a one-year deal with Christian Ehrhoff.
ALL THE HEART EYE EMOJIS.
So who is this dude? Where did he come from?
Well, in 2001 he was drafted by... none other than Dean Lombardi, who was GM of the San Jose Sharks at the time.
Time is a flat circle.
Ehrhoff spent the next two years in the DEL playing for the Krefeld Penguins before making his NHL debut in 2003. He remained with San Jose until 2009 when he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. According to Wikipedia,
The deal was done primarily to clear salary cap space in anticipation of the Sharks' acquisition of star forward Dany Heatley from the Ottawa Senators.
In 2011, Ehrhoff and the Canucks were unable to reach a deal for an extension, so his negotiating rights were traded to the New York Islanders. Garth Snow decided that Ehrhoff wanted too much money much and traded him (his rights) to the Buffalo Sabres, who inked him to a 10-year, $40 million contract a few days later.
The Sabres subsequently bought out his contract using their Compliance Buyout in the summer of 2014. He joined the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1 that year and played in 49 games. Somehow, this year, he remained an unrestricted free agent until late August when he signed with the Kings.
There is some concern of the 33-year-old German native's concussion and injury history. So far in his career, he has only played a full season once, in 2006, though he came close in 2009 and 2010 when he played 80 and 79 games respectively.
Similar to Andrej Sekera, Ehrhoff is a solid, puck moving defenseman who will be a major help to the Kings. He's not the #gritty #heart #cliche defensive defenseman nor is he a typical offensive defenseman, but the veteran of 741 regular season games does have some ability to score, as evidenced by his 72 goals to go along with his 255 assists.
Here's hoping that Ehrhoff's wise decision to go to a contender finally pans out.