Christian Ehrhoff vs Dan Hamhuis

Rick Roos

2013-09-04

DanHamhuis


Who is the better fantasy hockey own – Christian Ehrhoff or Dan Hamhuis?

 

This week's match features Christian Ehrhoff and Dan Hamhuis, two mid-career defensemen who should be on most everyone's fantasy radar. The question, as usual, is which one rates as the better of the two, and that's where the side-by-side comparisons of Cage Match give you the answer (and the edge in your fantasy league).

I actually wanted to cover this match last week, but knowing how much Jeff Angus likes Ehrhoff (good luck Angus – we miss you already!), I decided to wait until this week so I could be brutally honest – if necessary – about Ehrhoff. Without further ado, this Cage Match starts now!

 

Career Path/Injury History

While Hamhuis was an elite prospect drafted 12th overall in 2001, it wasn't until the 108th overall pick in the same draft that the Sharks grabbed Ehrhoff. Despite this, Hamhuis and Ehrhoff (both of whom were born in 1983) come into this season with very similar career numbers in that each has played between 600 and 700 career NHL games and scored between 245 and 280 NHL points.

Given their similar number of career games played, it should come as no surprise that both players also are pretty even when it comes to injury history, with Hamhuis having missed more than six games in a season just once in his career (2010-11) and Ehrhoff just twice (2005-06, 2011-12). And neither player has ever suited up for fewer than 64 games in a full NHL season. Clearly there are no red flags in this area for these guys.

Hamhuis was not much of an offensive contributor early in his career, only tallying more than 27 points one time (38 in 2005-06) in his first seven years. With Ehrhoff, it took him longer to make his mark, but once he did it was bigger and more sustained, scoring 42 points in 2008-09 and then 44 and 50 points in his next two seasons. The last two years have seen Ehrhoff fall back a bit since signing a big UFA deal with Buffalo (only 32 points in 2011-12 and a 38 point pace last season). In contrast, Hamhuis has seen a big jump in his points scoring of late, with 37 points in 2011-12 and a 42 point pace (24 points in 47 games) last season, silencing those who thought his 2005-06 season was a fluke.

 

Effect of Coaching Change

Although both Ehrhoff and Hamhuis are productive veterans who aren't likely to fall down the depth chart or lose valuable minutes no matter who's coaching their team, it's worth assessing how the recent coaching changes in Vancouver (John Tortorella replaced Alain Vigneault during the offseason) and Buffalo (Ron Rolston is now the permanent head coach after taking over from Lindy Ruff in February) might affect their numbers. For two players pretty even on paper, this could be a big differentiator.

With Ehrhoff, before Rols