Christian Ehrhoff has 76 goals and 271 assists in 765 career games. (Tom Mihalek / Associated Press)
Buffalo, New York — The Buffalo Sabres have bought out defenseman Christian Ehrhoff’s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Ehrhoff signed a 10-year, $40 million contract with the Sabres in 2011. He made $18 million over the first two years of the deal.
The Sabres used their second compliance buyout on Ehrhoff. Buffalo also bought out underperforming forward Ville Leino on June 17.
TSN was the first to report the move, which was announced by the team on Sunday.
By buying out Ehrhoff and Leino, the Sabres parted ways with Darcy Regier’s last two major acquisitions as general manager. Regier was fired in November after 17 years with the Sabres.
Buffalo had high hopes for both players after making a splash under new owner Terry Pegula in 2011. Buffalo acquired Ehrhoff’s rights from the New York Islanders shortly before the start of free agency and signed the defenseman to a front-loaded deal.
The team also signed Leino, a former Red Wing, to a six-year, $27 million contract.
Leino had just 46 points in 137 games with Buffalo. Ehrhoff quickly became one of Buffalo’s top blueliners, recording 87 points in 192 games, but the Sabres struggled throughout the past three seasons. They had the worst record in the NHL last season.
Ehrhoff, 31, has 313 career points in 692 games. He had 33 points in 79 games last season.
Ehrhoff entered the NHL as a fourth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2001. He has played for the Sharks, Sabres and Vancouver Canucks in his NHL career.
Oilers trade Gagner
The Edmonton Oilers traded center Sam Gagner to the Tampa Bay Lightning for left wing Teddy Purcell.
Gagner, 24, had 10 goals and 27 assists in 67 games last season. He had 101 goals and 194 assists in 481 games in seven seasons with the Oilers. Purcell, 28, had 12 goals and 30 assists in 81 games last season. In 401 games in seven seasons with Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, he has 75 goals and 153 assists.