Negotiations between the Canucks-Ehrhoff camp stalled and ended today. We don't yet know what Mike Gillis and Co was offering Ehrhoff, but the dollar value was believed to be close to Kevin Bieksa's. We'll know more soon enough. In the meantime, the Mad German is going to command a lot of money on the free agent market and probably has a lot of choices in places to play.
The Canucks get a 4th round choice in the 2012 Entry Draft in return. Adiose Ehrhoff, and thanks for everything. I'll write up a eulogy soon.
(YC was writing something on fair Christian at the same time...it's after the jump)
With tonight's news that Christian Ehrhoff (and, one last time, his fine set of lips) will be relocating to Long Island for a little bit, MG's summer priorities just became crystal: he needs a top four defenseman along with a top six LW. Since the Canucks are routinely vexed by defensive injuries, it's a safe bet that finding Edler a new partner is on top of the list.
During Ehrhoff's brief time in Vancouver, the good times often looked like this. Ehrhoff, just like in San Jose, was a bright light when surrounded by some big guns. Especially on the man advantage (and when the shot wasn't wildly off target) he's one of the best in the business at making his chances count. Other times his play looked like this: he'd cheat on assignments or blow his positioning at the worst possible time. No one ever questioned his talent, but he was nevertheless a soft defenseman who played a style that produced some errors which were frequently exposed in the playoffs. Replacing a combined 94 points in two seasons won't be easy - if not flatly impossible - but if it makes the defense more responsible, saves us from cap hell and flips the PP QB duties over to Edler (Edler's shooting percentage was 6.6% this year to Ehrhoff's 6.7%), then not much more could have been expected. We got Ehrhoff for literally nothing and get a pick out of it on the way out. On his end he nearly won a Cup and cashed out (chances are I'd do the same), so best of luck to him wherever he lands.
Getting Salo to sign for cheap is important, but betting on his health is a fool's game. Gillis expressed faith in Ballard as a possible avenue to replace Ehrhoff, but we've been down that road before the AV spike strip sent the bus exploding down the hill. Though increasing Ballard's minutes would explain the Steve Montador rumors we've started hearing. Viewing the possible UFA replacements who are similar to Ehrhoff, the only one that jumps out cleanly is Kaberle but if AV hates Ballard for inconsistent play, I'm fairly certain he'd go all kalima on Kaberle. There's also guys like Ian White or James Wisniewski but like Kaberle they'll be costly if they hit UFA. Or he can wait a few days for the UFA bedlam to pass and begin working the phones, finally moving some roster players or a prospect for a crucial piece of the 2012 campaign.
What say you?