clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Season in Review: Christian Ehrhoff

New, comments

We recap the season that offered much promise and perhaps a future. It turned out to be one and done for Christian Ehrhoff and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 32

Contract Status: UFA as of July 1, 2015 (current salary $4,000,000)

2014-15 Stats

GP

TOI/per game

Goals

Assists

Points

CF%

CF% rel

Zone Start %

GF%

PDO

49

21:46

3

11

14

51.6%

-1.9%

51.3%

57.6%

101.2

Most Frequent Defensive Partners

GF%

CF%

Total 5v5 Time Together

Paul Martin

46.52%

46.9%

184:26

Olli Maatta

58.3%

44.7%

160:55

Robert Bortuzzo

55.6%

55.8%

145:51

Kris Letang

54.5%

58.8%

138:06

His offensive output was much lower than I'd hoped for. His 3 goals all ended up being game winners. Due to the many injuries on defense, the pairings were constantly shifting so Ehrhoff's 850-ish ES minutes were split sort of evenly between Martin, Maatta, Bortuzzo and Letang. He started out with Maatta on the second pairing, but in the end I thought he looked best with a more physical, stay-at-home kind of partner like Bortuzzo.

Usage

PensDefense1415

Gif of the Year

medium

This looks less like a goal and more like a summary execution of Craig Anderson. It was also a Craig Adams assist, so it was a rare feat.

Preseason Expectations

Christian Ehrhoff was 3 years into his 10-year, $40-million contract with the Sabres when he was bought out at the end of June 2014 despite being one of the better players on the awful Sabres team. The long contract was leaving the Sabres open to massive cap recapture penalties should Ehrhoff retire early, so the buyout made sense. The Sabres were going into a total rebuild, and Ehrhoff was headed to free agency.

Ehrhoff was the first FA signing of the new GM Jim Rutherford. It was universally praised as an excellent move. A solid top-4 defenseman who could look after his own end and jump into the offensive play as appropriate, Ehrhoff's 1-year, $4M deal was low-risk, high-reward type of move. Paul Martin's extension was not in the stars, and Ehrhoff was brought in for a full-season look that would hopefully lead to a longer-term tenure.

Verdict

It looks as if Ehrhoff's tenure was, in fact, one and done. He managed only 49 games due to various injuries, and put together about 850 even-strength minutes in all. The last injury that signaled the beginning of the end happened in Washington in late January, when Ehrhoff attempted to hit the freight train known as Alex Ovechkin and ended up much, much worse for the wear. After multiple attempts at a return, by early April it was obvious that Ehrhoff wasn't going to see the ice again this season.

What of the time he did spend on the ice, though? 49 games is 49 games, and Ehrhoff seemed like an excelent fit with Mike Johnston's system, which left it up to the defensemen to judge when best to jump into the offensive situations. His heavy shot from the point was a danger to be reckoned with. He was definitely a lot less physical than I thought he'd be, and after Olli Maatta was shut down he played fairly well with Robert Bortuzzo.

In the end, we learned yesterday that Ehrhoff's Upper Saint Claire home is up for sale, which is another sign that the 1-year tryout for the German defenseman is all but over.

***

Feel free to vote and rate Ehrhoff's season with the Penguins. 1 indicates that you were massively disappointed in him; 10 suggests that he exceeded even your wildest expectations.