What are you doing in 2021? If you’re Terry Pegula, the answer is “still paying Christian Ehrhoff money.”

Ehrhoff, who’s rights had recently been passed around like he was Dan Hamhuis in 2010, signed a long-term deal with the Buffalo Sabres today. If you’re like us, when you hear the words “long term deal” you also hear “that’s incredibly front-loaded to reduce the cap hit.”

And you’d be right.

Bob McKenzie shared the details of the deal on Twitter.

Year one: $8 million signing bonus, $2 million in salary
Year two: $5 million signing bonus, $3 million in salary
Year three: $4 million
Year four: $4 million
Year five: $4 million
Year six: $4 million
Year seven: $3 million
Year eight; $1 million
Year nine: $1 million
Year 10: $1 million

Of course, all of this comes with a modified no trade clause as well. That seems like something everyone who signs a long contract will be asking for after Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were shipped out of Philadelphia with years left on their contracts.

Overall, this gives Ehrhoff a nice $4 million cap hit. We could have sworn the NHL talked all about “circumventing the cap” a while ago with the Kovalchuk mess, but we could be wrong. Ehrhoff will earn 45% of his money in the first two years of the ten year deal.

The Sabres have added a mobile defensemen with a hard shot and a lot of skill to their team with this deal. Ehrhoff will be 29 in July, which means he’ll be with Buffalo until he’s almost 40. The Sabres must really like him.

After signing the deal Ehrhoff said “my goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and after the offer I received from Buffalo, I believe this is the best place to make it happen.”

That CBC article doesn’t mention how much glee was in Ehrhoff’s eyes as he spoke, but we can only assume there was a lot.

According to CapGeek, the Sabres had about $11 million in cap space before signing this deal, so that leaves about $7 million now that it’s done. If there’s one thing we know now, it’s that Terry Pegula isn’t shy about throwing around cash.

Free agency starts tomorrow and the madness is about to get crazy!