Look we all know that a 10 year contract for Christian Ehrhoff is kind of ridiculous, but it’s within the rules. In face, the rules were ALREADY modified once to stop cap circumvention, and this is STILL fine, so for that part of it, I have no problem. It’s a risk, but you have to take risks to win the Stanley Cup, and the cap number is not that onerous if Ehrhoff doesn’t match his goal total of the past two years. I know what gets some people’s goat (*cough*Lambert*cough*) is the use of ridiculous ‘signing bonus’ numbers to work the system.
But what is REALLY AWESOME is how it is now the Buffalo Sabres who are ticking off the other fanbases in the league. Seriously, when was the last time ANYBODY was mad at the Sabres for working the system, or scoring a coveted free agent, or anything, really? I don’t mean other fans hating an individual (Hi Kaleta) but actual irritation and anger towards the Buffalo organization. It’s kind of refreshing, to be honest.
So, as free agency begins in earnest today, Buffalo is a player. They matter, and that bothers the other markets, makes them mad they have to contend with all the usual suspects AND the Sabres. The team has another club in the bag for how to build, adding the big honking driver of free agent madness to the irons of trades and the wedges of drafting and developing players in the system. No more laying up and relying on chipping it close and tapping in for par. ‘Par’ is what the previous regime was all about.