Christian Ehrhoff's(notes) agent Rick Curran told a Buffalo radio station Wednesday night that his client was looking to sign with a team that would be a perennial contender. That explained why talks with the New York Islanders broke down so quickly before his rights were shipped to the Buffalo Sabres.
What Curran didn't specify is what kind of deal structure his client was looking for.
Apparently, it was a long one as Ehrhoff inked a 10-year, $40 million deal on Thursday with the Sabres.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that Ehrhoff's deal is incredibly front-loaded with a $2 million salary and $8 million signing bonus in Year 1; $3 million salary, $5 million signing bonus in Year 2; $4 million in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6; $3 million in Year 7; and $1 million in Years 8, 9 and 10. The deal also features a modified no-trade clause.
And yes, Ehrhoff will make $10 million next season and $1 million in the final three years of the deal. Cap circumvention? No. We're sure the NHL loves this deal.
According to the Buffalo News, Ehrhoff reached out to ex-teammates that were tied to the Sabres to get their take on the organization. The reviews must have been glowing for the soon-to-be 29-year-old defenseman to forego testing the open market on Friday and signing early.
If you're keeping track at home, in a span of four years, the Sabres have gone from not being able to afford Danny Briere(notes) and Chris Drury(notes) to handing out long-term, big-dollar contracts to players.
Welcome to the Terry Pegula Era in Buffalo.
The Sabres defense now features Tyler Myers(notes), Shaone Morrisonn(notes), Jordan Leopold(notes), Robyn Regehr(notes) and Ehrhoff after Steve Montador(notes) was dealt and signed by the Chicago Blackhawks. That's a pretty solid core for GM Darcy Regier to build on beginning tomorrow when he attempts to fill in the rest of the roster.