Ken Holland pretty much said it himself, he's looking for a "hockey trade" that will provide a veteran defenseman who won't only help us right now, but in the future. He doesn't want a rental. Thank god. Anyways, there are a couple of defensemen on the trading block who are signed through this year that teams are looking to unload in return for picks, prospects, and what have you. One of the bigger names on the list is Buffalo Sabres' top-pair D, Christian Ehrhoff.
Christian is a 31 year old, German-born lefty who has been playing in the NHL since the 2003-2004 season. He has played for San Jose, Vancouver, and Buffalo in that span of time. He's known as a big-minute offensive defenseman who has a keen ability to QB the power-play as well as be used to stay-at-home and play a defensive role. I've had the chance to watch Christian play a few times, because for some reason NBCSN loves broadcasting Buffalo games.. Anyways he seems to be a very good, if not elite skater. His first three strides give him excellent accelerating abilities for a defenseman. This is a guy I think Detroit should put in their cross-hairs. But what's it gonna cost?
This is the kind of guy worth breaking open the piggy bank on, I think. 1st round pick, prospect, and a roster player. All of which would be TBD but I think putting up a guy like Jakub Kindl along with draft pick(s) and a prospect would be ample.. Of course, I'm sure Buffalo will have some crazy price tag on him, and rightfully so.
Here is what people are saying:
There's no guarantee he'll be traded, but BUF asked Christian Ehrhoff for list of 8 teams he doesn't want to be traded to (per his NTC).— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 28, 2014
BUF GM Tim Murray is open to taking offers on virtually every player on his roster. Teams looking for D will be calling on Ehrhoff/Myers.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 28, 2014
Huge chunk of Christian Ehrhoff's deal has already been paid and he's a legit 1D, likely will be for few more years. No-brainer add.— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) February 28, 2014
Our very own JJ from Kansas:
"Ehrhoff is a good player right now who would definitely improve Detroit's blue line. he's playing big minutes for the Sabres on both special teams units and has his head well above water on puck possession metrics. His 28 points for a woeful Sabres team shows that the guy has good offensive upside (9 points on the power play and 3 points shorthanded gives him 16 ES points, which would still be 2nd on the Wings).
The price worries me on Ehrhoff. No way Detroit gets this deal done without giving up a 1st rounder as a starting point. From there, Buffalo's going to want more. I don't know how many prospects they're going to want in return."
So what do you think? Too pricey? Or is this something Ken Holland should be chomping at the bit to go after? In my opinion, Detroit should be heavily inquiring on the 6'2", 203 lbs. defender that Ehrhoff is. Detroit has a stockpile of prospects that can be used in acquiring him and shouldn't be afraid to use a draft pick. We are very quick to forget that Kenny is somewhat of a wizard when it comes to drafting, and finding great players. You want a hockey deal who brings a veteran minute-muncher who will help this team in the years to come? Bring Christian Ehrhoff to Detroit. It won't be cheap, but making your team better isn't cheap. That's the reality of this whole thing. As a fan, I am willing to let go of prospects. Why? Because that's what they are.. Prospects. They are not surefire NHL all-stars. You get new ones every year. If it makes your team better and puts you in contention to hoist, you do it. Period.