1)That's what it appears is happening with respect to the rights to Christian Ehrhoff. Initially the German born defender's rights were owned by his team from this past season, the Vancouver Canucks. After rejecting a deal that would have paid him the same as fellow defensemen Kevin Bieksa (5 years at 4.5 mil) the Canucks put his rights up for grabs to other teams' who thought they had a shot at obtaining his services. The NY Islanders, in need of a quality top 4 defensemen were quick to jump on that possibility and offered up their 4th round pick in next years draft to obtain the rights to Ehroff, and get a jump on signing him prior to him going on the open market. Certainly Snow knew he'd have to significantly up the Vancouver offer to entice Chris to go East to a rebuilding franchise with a less than top reputation throughout the league.
2) To that end we're told that the Islanders indeed late yesterday approached Ehrhoff's agent Richard Curren a deal that seems (to us at fauxrumors) to be as good as his client could possibly get come July 1. Our sources tell us that Snow offered Christian a 5 year deal with an average salary of 5.75 million! A ton of money for an above average but hardly a star defensemen. If Snow offered Ehrhoff that much how much would he offer a true superstar (if one were available?) Our impeccable sources tell us that Snow "never had a chance", and that Curren already has a team and tentative deal in place for his client. The source refused to tell us out of fear of retribution but he tells us that "its a done deal" and should be announced shortly after the Free agency period commences tomorrow at noon. To his credit Snow didn't play games with the negotiations. Once he had his generous offer rejected he saw the writing on the proverbial wall and immediately put the negotiating rights to Ehrhoff back on the block. The fact that he got back his 4th round pick in a trade with Buffalo late last night is impressive.
3) So now the Sabres have the 'hot potato that are Ehrhoff's right. They had 36 hours to get a deal worked out before he goes 'on the market'. The Sabres have a slightly more advantageous position than the Isles in that they appear top be far more a playoff contender at this time(assuming winning is a priority to Ehrhoff?) The question is are the Sabres 'the team' that Curran has a deal in principal, or will the Hot Potato be passed yet again if a deal can't be struck? Whether or not they do we are going to be very curious to see what he ultimately receives in his new deal. We can't see anyone really paying his 6+ million!?! As one Western Conference scout told us "That's dumb money" WE fully agree!