* The Rumor became an official Trade this afternoon. The Chicago Blackhawks retain 50% of Rob Scuderi’s contract while the LA Kings retain 15% of Christian Ehrhoff’s contract.
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman has often been described as a wizard or magician behind the scenes, especially when it comes to maneuvering the Blackhawks through their constant salary cap constraints. But what appears to be close to fruition today may be on a whole new level.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Blackhawks are close to acquiring Los Angeles Kings defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The reported return would at least be defenseman Rob Scuderi, who was acquired in the Trevor Daley trade and eventually sent to the AHL, where he remains at this time.
Ehrhoff is nearing 34 years old and was one time a highly sought defenseman. He hasn’t played for the Kings since Feb. 9, however, being demoted to the AHL since then. After becoming pretty highly regarded while with Vancouver in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, Ehrhoff signed a big deal with Buffalo and fell very flat. He’s now more of a third-pairing defenseman than anything, but certainly an upgrade from Scuderi, whom the Blackhawks hardly used after acquiring him from the Penguins for Daley.
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The cap hits for Scuderi and Ehrhoff are nearly identical, with the former at $1.3 million (currently buried) and the latter at $1.5 million. However, Scuderi’s current contract has another year on it, while Ehrhoff is an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Blackhawks are again freeing up cap space, but this time they’re getting a usable piece in return. Whether or not Joel Quenneville will actually use Ehrhoff remains to be seen, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Ehrhoff brings experience to the Blackhawks, having played in six separate playoffs as well as 781 regular-season games. He’s tallied 74 goals and 263 assists in the regular season, along with seven goals and 27 assists in the postseason. Any push he can provide from the third pairing would be a nice boost for the Blackhawks, but he’s really around to shore up a pairing that has bounced around the likes of Erik Gustafsson, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michal Rozsival and Viktor Svedberg, with none of them providing consistent relief.
Here are some important tweets regarding this proposed trade, which could include more than Ehrhoff and Scuderi. We’ll see about that as the day moves along.
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Admittedly, that last one is just for me. What do you think about this proposed deal? Let us know in the comments.