So many people wonder if there is a life after hockey for professional National Hockey League players who retire and move on from the game. Some find it incredibly difficult to adjust to "normal life", others choose to take a management or coaching role with an association they represented for many years and others become stay-at-home dads, ready to focus on family and stability.
Fans may wonder how a player who use to earn millions can adjust to a smaller salary, but there is one man who will not have to for years to come. Earlier this week, 35-year-old defenseman Christian Ehrhoff announced his retirement and once he did, the shocking report about how much the Buffalo Sabres still owe him and how long they'll be paying him for went viral.
"After 19 years of pro hockey I’ve decided to call it a career," Ehrhoff said in a story published by IIHF.com. "Thanks to all my teams, teammates, coaches, staff members and fans for your support and countless amazing memories. The decision is well-thought. After so many years at the highest level, the time has come for me to start something new.”
Something new with an old contract...
Ehrhoff signed a 10-year, $40 million deal with Buffalo in 2011 as a free agent, after two straight 14-goal seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. However, his contract was bought out by Buffalo after just three seasons with the club. He last played in the NHL during the 2015-16 season and spent the past two seasons with the Cologne Sharks of Germany's DEL. The defenseman then had eight goals and 37 points in 58 games for Kölner Haie of the German League.
Though Ehrhoff doesn't count toward the Sabres' salary cap, he is on their payroll for the amount of $857,143 through the 2027-28 season. He left the team with an annual payment of $857,143 for 14 years. He is still owed $8.57 million by the Sabres and will receive cheques for the next 10 years.
Ehrhoff tallied 16 goals and 87 points in 192 games with Buffalo.
In total, Ehrhoff scored 74 goals and posted 339 points in 789 career games with the San Jose Sharks, Canucks, Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.