That insane-sounding deal includes, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, an $8-million signing bonus and $2-million in salary for 2011-12 and $8-million ($5-million bonus) for 2012-13, meaning that Ehrhoff will have $15-million in his pocket before the new collective bargaining agreement begins next summer.

So Garth Snow's offer of $33-million over six years seems more normal when compared with Buffalo's offer, which shaves very little off the average annual value ($4-million per) but gives Ehrhoff nearly half the value the first two seasons.

Somewhere, Lou Lamoriello is fuming a bit that this deal is not considered circumvention.

In any event, this is not Ilya Kovalchuk we're talking about, so good luck to the Sabres in paying this much up front to a very good defenseman who is not at all a difference-maker.

With Ehrhoff off the board, the pickings among defensemen just got slimmer for noon tomorrow.

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