By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page

Christian Ehrhoff – Signed by the Sabres in 2011

When the Sabres’ management thinks about Christian Ehrhoff, the idea of signing checks probably comes to mind. And more checks. And more checks. Big, expensive checks.

Ehrhoff came out of Germany to sign in 2003 with the San Jose Sharks, where he displayed some offensive talent. Ehrhoff spent five years there before he was traded to Vancouver. In 2010-11 he set a career high for points in a season with 50. That’s when he became a free agent, and the Sabres couldn’t resist. They signed him to a $40 million contract over 10 years. Ehrhoff had hopes that he had joined a contender, but instead he was playing for a team that wouldn’t make the playoffs after he signed in 2011.

Ehrhoff spent three seasons in Buffalo, and peaked in 2013-14 with 33 points. The Sabres were afraid of a huge cap hit if Ehrhoff retired early, so they used a compliance wipeout on the last seven years of his deal. The defenseman left as an unrestricted free agent, and played with three more teams before retiring from the NHL in 2016 and returning to Germany for two final pro seasons. Meanwhile, the Sabres have been paying him about $850,000 a year, and will continue to do so through 2028. That’s a mighty good pension plan.

Here’s one of his good moments here:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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