The Buffalo Sabres have signed Christian Ehrhoff to a 10-year, $40 million contract. Ehrhoff is one of the best offensive defensemen in the game, and he creates a lot of offense at even strength by using his speed to transition the puck up the ice.
The Sabres get:
The QB of the league's best power play in 2010-11. Ehrhoff is fast, mobile, and he can both shoot and pass the puck at an elite level. He is solid in his own zone through the use of an active stick and his speed to close gaps quickly. He gets overmatched physically and sometimes gets burned with his positioning, but he is better defensively than many give him credit for. Kudos to Buffalo's new owner for opening his wallet in a big way - Ehrhoff will see almost half of his $40 million in the first two years thanks to a few very generous bonuses.
Fantasy Players Impacted:
Ehrhoff becomes the QB on the first unit. He pushes one defenseman off the unit, likely being Sekera and/or Gragnani. Tyler Myers is too valuable on the PK and at even strength to play all the time on the PP, but the fact that he shoots right and Ehrhoff shoots left helps his cause a bit. All of Buffalo's forwards will see a value increase, especially Thomas Vanek. Ehrhoff is a wicked point shot and there are few players better around the net than Vanek.
Vancouver now has a huge hole to fill on the back end. Keith Ballard is a proven point producer, but he is coming off of an absolutely awful year in 2010-11. Is he the guy they go to? Look for Alex Edler to take another step forward offensively.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Thomas Vanek
2. Derek Roy
3. Drew Stafford
4. Brad Boyes
5. Sensing a theme? Every single offensive forward on Buffalo.
6. Tyler Myers/Marc-Andre Gragnani (whoever sticks around on the first unit)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Daniel and Henrik Sedin
2. Ryan Kesler
3. Andrej Sekera
3. Christian Ehrhoff