The Buffalo Sabres used a compliance buyout on the German defenseman on Sunday, meaning that he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Ehrhoff is expected to be one of the most highly sought-after defensemen on the market after scoring six goals and 33 points in 79 games with the lowly Sabres last season. He also skated close to 24 minutes per game and led his team in ice time.
Ehrhoff still had seven years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4 million. The buyout means that the Sabres won’t be hurt by salary cap recapture penalties if the 31-year old decides to retire in the middle of his contract. That said, the team will still have to pay him $850,000 over the next 14 years, but it won’t count against the cap.
The Sabres signed Ehrhoff to a 10-year deal worth $40 million in 2011 after he had a career season with the Vancouver Canucks, scoring 14 goals and 50 points in 79 games while helping the team get to the Stanley Cup Final.