Mar 20, 2014; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) passes the puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Rexall Place. Buffalo Sabres won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Christian Ehrhoff

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It took only five minutes for the first “major” signing to take place on NHL Free Agency’s opening day, and it was the Pittsburgh Penguins making the first move.

After letting Matt Niskanen walk in free agency this summer, the Penguins have signed former Buffalo Sabres alternate captain Christian Ehrhoff. The contract is for one season at $4 million.

Ehrhoff became one of the top available defensemen on the market after the Buffalo Sabres announced the surprising news of a compliance buyout over the weekend. Ehrhoff had signed with the Sabres back in 2011 for 10 years and $40 million.

[Related: NHL Free Agency deal tracker]

Ehrhoff will come in and be a man who knows how to control the power play as well as help start offensive rushes. He won’t get into trouble in his own zone, and should help Penguins forwards like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin feel more comfortable about playing aggressive offensively, knowing that a responsible and reliable defender is back to protect the net. And knowing that it’s Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the Penguins need plenty of protection back there.

Sound off Penguins fans! What do you think about the bringing in of Ehrhoff? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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Tags: Christian Ehrhoff NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Christopher Anderson

    Welcome to Pittsburgh Ehrhoff! Excited about this I think this was much smarter in the risk to reward ratio getting Ehrhoff for 1 year instead of signing Niskanen to his dream 7 year contract who probably won’t keep his production at last years level that long. Just hope we got some more good news to come.

  • J holobinko

    Like this signing! With all the top defensemen the pens have waiting to come up, a one year contract for ehrhoff is perfect. Orpik is shot and niskanen had a fluke season! He will never put up numbers like he did last season. The caps spent a lot of money on to very average players! Thank god the pens didn’t want either one of them back!