Islanders can't reach a deal for Ehrhoff

General manager Garth Snow took a risk in hopes of improving the Islanders before the start of free agency, but it did not work out.

Less than 24 hours after acquiring the rights to Christian Ehrhoff , talks between the Islanders and the 28-year-old defenseman broke down and Snow shipped those rights to the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday for a fourth-round pick, just what he gave the Vancouver Canucks for the shot at Ehrhoff to begin with.

Snow had imposed a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday to sign Ehrhoff. He would not divulge his final offer to him, but it was thought to be well north — in dollar amount and length of contract — of the five-year, $23-million pact Vancouver reportedly gave defenseman Kevin Bieksa .

“We made a significant offer,” Snow said. “I don’t want to get into specific numbers, but I felt like we made a good offer and a good run to get Christian to sign.”

Snow first began discussions with Ehrhoff’s agent, Rick Curran, Tuesday night but did not speak to Ehrhoff until Wednesday morning (Ehrhoff is back home in his native Germany). After several exchanges throughout the day, Snow set the 5 p.m. deadline. When it became clear that he would not be accepting the Islanders’ offer, Snow emailed other teams around the league to gauge interest in the impending unrestricted free agent.;JSESSIONID=F91EDD4B28467F6996DB.3124?site=newsday&view=sports_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.2994871