I don’t think any NHL fans would have predicted that the Los Angeles Kings would miss the playoffs last year… In fact, I would bet that the majority of hockey fans would say that the Kings missing the playoffs was the most shocking thing that happened in hockey last season. Personally, I envision the Kings making the playoffs without an issue in the upcoming 2015-2016 season, and the Kings’ latest move will help them do it.
It was announced today that the Kings have signed 33-year-old Christian Ehrhoff to a one-year $1.5 million deal, which is a move that falls under the “low risk, high reward” category. Ehrhoff will not have to be “the guy” for Los Angeles, and, as a result, he will be able to stick to his game without the added pressure of being a #1 defenseman while hopefully avoiding some of the injuries that have plagued him the past few seasons.
Ehrhoff still has the ability to log quality minutes; he averaged 21:45 of ice time last season in Pittsburgh. The interesting thing about this move is that Ehrhoff does possess an offensive upside: 72 goals, 327 points, 483 penalty minutes and a plus-59 rating in 741 regular-season games spanning 11 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ehrhoff played his best hockey as a member of the San Jose Sharks, one of the Kings’ top rivals. Perhaps a move back to California will rekindle some of the old magic. All in all, this is a really solid depth signing for the Los Angeles Kings, and certainly a job well done.
Photo Credit: Joe Sargent-National Hockey League-Getty