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12-31-2012, 07:14 AM
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It will most definitely be Leino. With that said, if the recapture provision goes into the next CBA, Ehrhoff's contract is a major liability. He has a nice cap hit for the next few years as he goes through his prime, but the Sabres are quite literally stuck with his contract through the 2020-21 season. That's a problem, because when they signed him it is quite likely the team viewed the deal as a 7yr/$37m deal, with three team options for $1m/season. Under the current CBA formula, the Sabres could have bought him out after Year 7 for $2m (2/3 of remaining money owed), and only had $333,333 of dead cap space for six seasons (2/3 of remaining money owed spread out over twice the remaining term on the deal). Under a new CBA, Ehrhoff's cap hit is going to be $4m for every year of his deal, and the Sabres really have no out unless they buy him out before 2013-14. And the cap hit will be applied to Buffalo even if they trade him to another club.

I have little doubt they won't even contemplate buying out Ehrhoff because he is one of their better defensemen and there's a decent chance that his contract might be another GM's problem by the time the problem years (Years 8-10) roll around. But Ehrhoff should certainly be considered, else you're just kicking the can down the road.

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