The Sabres trotted out defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to meet the media for the first time Wednesday morning in the HSBC Arena Harbour Club and the team's new $40 million man said ownership's commitment to winning a Stanley Cup was the No. 1 reason he signed with Buffalo after the team got his rights from the New York Islanders. He thus never entered the unrestricted free agent pool.
"I didn't see that [Cup chance] with the Islanders so I decided not to take their offer, which was a great offer they made [five years for $23 million]," he said. "The next morning I woke up and was with Buffalo and went through the process again of talking to ownership, management and the coach.
Ehrhoff also talked with fellow German Olympian Jochen Hecht, former San Jose teammate Mike Grier and former Sabre and German teammate Daryl Shannon.
"Everybody just had good things to say about the city of Buffalo," he said. "About it being a great place to live with your kids and a good place for them to grow up, which was another criteria I was looking for. Terry has shown he's very committed to put a team together that can win the Stanley Cup. For me it made sense and why I joined the team."
Ehrhoff may have had 40 million reasons to sign with the Sabres but remember how close he came in June, as the Canucks got to Game Seven of the Stanley Cup final before losing to Boston. So he's a player who clearly puts a priority on winning.
Ehrhoff was presented with a white No. 10 jersey by president Ted Black, GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff.
"Christian fits the way we play," said coach Lindy Ruff. "We're a team that has our defense involved and gets up ice. If you look at the way Vancouver's defense played and were involved in the offensive side of the game, it's an automatic fit."