Buffalo Sabres decided to take a gamble on winger Jeff Skinner last summer, hoping they will be able to convince him to re-sign with the team. And it seems like they did a pretty good job, as Sabres’ general manager Jason Botterill told reporters that he is confident Skinner will remain in Buffalo next season as well.
“I would say discussions continue to go very well, but you never have a deal completely done until there’s a signature,” – said Botterill during a news conference on Wednesday on which he introduced team’s new coach Ralph Krueger. “We’ve clearly shown that this is a priority to try and get something done. Hopefully, we can find a way to get that materialize.”
Sabres kicked off contract negotiations with Skinner in January, and had continuous discussions since then, although the talks were paused while the team conducted their head-coaching search. According to Botterill, both sides want to get things done before the NHL free agency kicks off on July 1st.
Skinner can get an eight-year deal from Buffalo, while he would be limited to signing a seven-year deal if he was to hit an open market.
After spending the first eight years of his NHL career with Carolina Hurricanes, Jeff Skinner joined Buffalo Sabers in August 2018 in a blockbuster trade which saw forward Cliff Pu and three draft picks heading into the opposite direction. Skinner ended up having a career season in 2018/19, as he scored 40 goals for the first time in his career. He also added 23 assists for a total of 63 points.