The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the most active teams in the NHL ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, and they’ve made another move Friday as they acquired defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from the Los Angeles Kings.
The deal had been reported by numerous NHL reporters, including TSN's Bob McKenzie, Helene Elliott of the LA Times, and Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times earlier on Friday, but the two teams have now confirmed the deal.
Ehrhoff, who is a free agent at season’s end, was recently placed on waivers by the Kings after scoring just two goals and dishing out eight assists in 40 games with the team in the 2015-16 campaign. He has played in five games for the AHL’s Ontario Reign, notching three assists in those contests.
In exchange for Ehrhoff, the Kings will receive defenseman Rob Scuderi from the Blackhawks. Like Ehrhoff, Scuderi was recently waived and sent to the AHL, but unlike the veteran defenseman, Scuderi’s contract runs through the end of next season.
Scuderi was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade earlier this season that sent Trevor Daley to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Daley has found a lot of success in Pittsburgh, with four goals and nine assists in 30 games, but Scuderi could never find a consistent role with the Blackhawks as he struggled to fit in Joel Quenneville’s system.
The two teams will each retain salary as part of the trade. According to Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman, the Blackhawks will retain $1.125 million of Scuderi's cap hit in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, and the Kings will retain 15 percent of the $1.5 million cap hit that Ehrhoff is owed this season.
The Blackhawks could still be active on the market as they look to continue shoring up their blue line, but at the very least Ehrhoff provides more veteran presence and some offensive upside on the back end. The Blackhawks have struggled to generate offense in transition this season, and Ehrhoff could provide some help in that area.