Yesterday, the Los Angeles Kings put 33-year old defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on waivers. Having scored just four points this season, neither side is getting what they expected when he signed a one-year 1.5M dollar contract this past offseason. Erhoff is playing nearly eight fewer minutes per game than his previous three seasons with Buffalo and Pittsburgh and is fourth among Kings' defensemen in power play time.
A cursory look at his possession metrics indicate he's -1.76 CF%Rel, but that's more a result of how good the Kings have been with shooting pucks at the net. He's 58.78 CF% overall, which is nothing to sneeze at, whether he's riding the team's coattails or not. The fact of the matter is he's a player many Avalanche fans wanted the team to look at this summer before signing Francois Beauchemin, and he's probably somebody the team should look at to shore up the defense down the stretch.
Colorado currently has more the seven million dollars in cap room and wouldn't be committed to a dime past this season. If they want to keep Zadorov in the AHL the rest of the year, and the rotation of Zach Redmond and Andrew Bodnarchuk isn't doing it for you, then pull the trigger, Joe. Yesterday, Colorado couldn't claim Ehrhoff because they were at the maximum 50 contracts. Today, you send back Redmond's expiring deal, and I'm sure they Kings would be just delighted.
What do you do with Ehrhoff on this team? You plug him right into the Top-4, that's what. Put him with Barrie and give the two nothing but offensive starts. Set him up next to Johnson and cut back Beauchemin's 5v5 ice time back to something reasonable for a 35-year old. Bump Holden down to the 3rd pairing with Bigras and make one of the two play off-hand. Whatever you do, it's a big improvement through the end of the season, and it will cost the Avalanche close to nothing to do.
Ehrhoff may not be good enough to cut it in LA, but he's still plenty good enough to log minutes here.