NHL free agency pool grows with buyouts

The Buffalo Sabres bought out Christian Ehrhoff on Sunday. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

The Buffalo Sabres bought out Christian Ehrhoff on Sunday. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:43 AM ET

It was the Christian thing to do for the Sabres.

And more than a few general managers are happy that rebuilding Buffalo bought out defenceman Christian Ehrhoff on Sunday, another late addition to what were meagre or over-priced offerings in the unrestricted free agent market that opens Tuesday.

Ehrhoff had seven years to go on a 10-year, $40-million deal inked in 2011, which put a $4-million annual hit on the Sabres’ cap. He was Buffalo’s second buyout after winger Ville Leino and followed a series of similar moves around the league as teams cleared the books for July 1.

“It adds players that you hope your team can get at a better price,” said one NHL exec on Sunday evening. “You know these guys aren’t going to sign for what they had before. You are going to get more players coming into the picture.

“You hear management guys say it all the time: “I love this player or that player at $3 million, but I hate him at $5 million’.”


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