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 from the New York Islanders. He signed a massive 10-year, $40 million contract a day later, becoming a big piece as the Sabres loaded up for a Stanley Cup run.
But Ehrhoff struggled much of his Buffalo tenure, compiling only 16 goals and 87 points in 192 games. The Sabres missed the playoffs all three seasons.
Some observers thought Ehrhoff, an alternate captain, looked disinterested as the Sabres became a laughingstock last season.
The Sabres, a team with only $34,419,166 committed to players for next season before ditching Ehrhoff, will use both of their compliance buyouts. They also bought out forward Ville Leino earlier this month.