CBC's Elliotte Friedman reported that last summer tried hard to sign free agent defencemen Paul Martin and Zybynek Michalek on July 1, but obviously failed as both players signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
By acquiring Ehrhoff, the Islanders have the opportunity to exclusively negotiate with Ehrhoff until noon on July 1, the time the free agent market opens.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis reportedly offered a contract similar to the one just signed by fellow unrestricted free agent defenceman Kevin Bieksa—five years with an average annual value of $4.6 million.
The Canucks and Ehrhoff were obviously not close, and they weren't going to bridge the gap in the next three days nor were the Canucks going to unload other players to accommodate his demands.
With the trade, the Canucks receive something rather than losing Ehrhoff for nothing on July 1.
Ehrhoff did supply the Canucks with 50 points last season, but it will not be difficult to replace.
There is also Chris Tanev who is projected to make the opening day roster after a splendid performance in the regular season and then in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On Tanner Glass's infamous whiff in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Tanev showed his on-ice awareness and ability to find the open man with the pass.
Alex Edler in his first full season in 2007-08 managed to put up a respectable 20 points.
It would not be unreasonable to expect 35-40 points from Ballard and 15-20 points from Tanev.
No Ehrhoff, no problem. Maybe the Canucks wouldn't need to score that extra goal to make up for his defensive gaffe?