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Archive:
Ehrhoff

Brian Gionta talks about being named captain Tuesday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For five years, Josh Gorges watched Brian Gionta closely. Gionta’s Stanley Cup ring offered him instant credibility in the Montreal dressing room. But Gorges quickly learned why Gionta won a championship.

Gorges noticed the professionalism Gionta exhibited, the strong habits that made him a leader and respected captain.

“I’ve said this all along, when you’re a young guy coming into a team … who do you look to in the room and say, ‘This is who I got to follow …

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Tim Murray (left) shakes Brian Gionta's hand today. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The five new players the Sabres acquired Tuesday will make it harder for them to re-sign Steve Ott, the popular former captain they traded in February.

“I don’t know if he’s a possibility,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “I talked to his agent last night after I talked to you guys. I explained to him with what we did yesterday, it would make it more difficult. But what we may do …

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Christian Ehrhoff will be a free agent again in a year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff lasted less than 10 minutes on the open market, signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins early this afternoon.

The Sabres bought out the final seven seasons of the German’s 10-year, $40 million contract Sunday.

It’s a win-win deal for Ehrhoff. He’s joining a slick, superstar-laden Penguins club expected to compete for the Stanley Cup. He’ll get plenty of ice time with superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Ehrhoff posted huge numbers playing with …

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Cory Conacher is looking for a new team. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The short Sabres careers of winger Cory Conacher and defenseman Jamie McBain are over.

The rebuilding club passed on giving them qualifying offers as restricted free agents, making them free to sign with any team.

The Sabres also didn’t qualify defensemen Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie, who played in Rochester, and goalie Connor Knapp, who played two NHL games last season.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Monday morning McBain, who struggled his one season here, wouldn’t be coming back. Murray …

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Christian Ehrhoff is now a free agent. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – General manager Tim Murray said the Sabres discussed every scenario regarding Christian Ehrhoff’s future. Yes, they could’ve traded the defenseman. Ultimately, that could’ve bitten them badly in several years, as much as $10 million against the cap in dead money, according to capgeek.com.

So the Sabres, fearing that cap recapture penalty, bought out the final seven years of the 31-year-old’s 10-year, $40 million contract Sunday. They owe him $12 million.

“With the penalties on his contract on the end if …

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Christian Ehrhoff will sign another big contract soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Despite a manageable $4 million cap hit and $22 million of Christian Ehrhoff’s 10-year, $40 million contract already paid, the Sabres didn’t want to keep the defenseman.

Why?

If Ehrhoff retired early, the Sabres could’ve been charged a huge cap recapture penalty, as much as $10 million, according to capgeek.com. Imagine having that dead money eating up space when the Sabres need to lock up their youngsters in several years.

So the Sabres used their second compliance buyout on the final …

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The Sabres named new captains before last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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On Oct. 1, the Buffalo Sabres unveiled their new leadership crew, co-captains Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek and alternate Christian Ehrhoff.

Nine months later, all three are gone.

Vanek was dealt later that month. Ott went in February. Ehrhoff was bought out Sunday.

Looking for a picture that can capture the Sabres’ radical transformation? Look above.

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Christian Ehrhoff's Sabres career lasted three seasons. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

PHILADELPHIA – In a surprising development, the Buffalo Sabres have started compliance buyout procedures on the final seven seasons of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff’s contract, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: The Sabres have confirmed the buyout.

The Sabres owe Ehrhoff two-thirds of the $18 million remaining on his deal. The team faced some stiff cap recapture penalties if the German retired before the contract ended in 2020-21.

The 31-year-old arrived in Buffalo three years ago today after the Sabres acquired his negotiating rights …

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Leon Draisaitl could become the highest-drafted German ever. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – In Germany, soccer reigns supreme. The sport’s popularity can’t be matched. Hockey, meanwhile, competes for attention with basketball and even handball, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff once said.

Germany didn’t even qualify for Olympic ice hockey this year.

But in center Leon Draisaitl, the country has produced one of the game’s slickest prospects. The 18-year-old will likely become the highest-drafted German ever Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

With that honor, Draisaitl will happily become the face of …

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Ville Leino's Sabres career could end today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

While it’s hard to believe now, Ville Leino’s arrival in Buffalo almost three years ago was greeted with some fanfare.

Back then, Leino was one of the best free agents on the market. Awarding Leino a stunning six-year, $27 million contract was risky. The Finn only had one full NHL season under his belt. But the signing proved the Sabres wanted to bring in the best talent they could and gun for a Stanley Cup.

Of course, Leino proved to be the …

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