The two top teams in the Western Conference swapped aging, depth defensemen on Friday, as the Blackhawks dealt 37-year-old Rob Scuderi to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for 33-year-old Christian Ehrhoff.
Scuderi, acquired from Pittsburgh earlier in the season for Trevor Daley, was demoted to Rockford of the AHL last week. Ehrhoff also has been in the AHL for the past two weeks. Scuderi was looking for a chance to play, and the Hawks have been pursuing a depth defenseman to bolster a blue line that’s been relying on three rookies and 37-year-old Michal Rozsival.
Perhaps most importantly, Ehrhoff will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, while Scuderi is signed through next year. Still, the Hawks are retaining 50 percent of Scuderi’s salary in the deal, according to multiple reports, meaning they’ll still have a $1.125-million cap hit next year for him. The Kings are retaining 15 percent of Ehrhoff’s $1.3-million cap hit for the rest of the season.
The Hawks still have enough cap space to pursue a bottom-six winger or yet another depth defenseman by Monday’s deadline.
Ehrhoff is in his 11th NHL season, and had two goals and eight assists in 40 games with the Kings this season. He was bought out of a 10-year, $40-million contract in Buffalo two years ago and was a mostly failed experiment in L.A. He has 337 points in 781 career games.