Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had a whirlwind offseason.
After being bought out from his contract with the Buffalo Sabres, the 32-year-old was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a one-year, $4-million contract shortly after free agency opened July 1. Now he enters the 2014-15 season as an instrumental piece to the Penguins' defensive corps.
Pittsburgh was unable to retain defensemen Matt Niskanen, who had a career year in 2013-14 with 10 goals and 46 points, and Brooks Orpik, its most tenured player entering the offseason. Each signed with the Metropolitan-Division rival Washington Capitals, making their losses sting that much more.
But the Penguins shifted their focus away from landing a possible top-six forward in free agency and instead decided to solidify their defense by adding Ehrhoff, who could more than make up for the losses of Niskanen and Orpik.