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Jeff Skinner To Enter Free Agency Following Sabres Buyout

Jeff Skinner
(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeff Skinner To Enter Free Agency Following Sabres Buyout

The Jeff Skinner era for the Buffalo Sabres is coming to a close. The former 40-goal scorer will now be a free agent on Monday after Kevyn Adams decided to buy out his contract. Obviously, at 32, he is not quite the dynamic offensive player who signed in Western New York for $9 million per season. However, the Toronto native still knows how to score and could definitely help a playoff team on the cheap. Check out his current metrics per JFresh:

He is definitely not the problem for Buffalo, but if nothing else this move creates some short-term salary cap flexibility. They are gonna have over $7.5 million in extra cap space to play with on Monday. While the following years are not pretty, it’s a welcome move for both sides. At his age he did not play exceptionally great but they clearly have bigger issues. This is how much they’re on the hook for over six years:

In 427 games as a Sabre, Skinner scored 153 goals and 291 points. He served his time very well but obviously was not what they needed at that time. His situation now resembles that of Matt Duchene‘s last year. A productive player for a long time that originally got a very nice contract. However, due to age or other circumstances, gets bought out a little past their prime. A lot of contending teams will be more than happy to offer him the same $3 million that Duchene got from Dallas last Summer.

That worked out incredibly well as Duchene put up 65 points with the Stars and should get a nice multi-year deal somewhere at age 33. Both him and Skinner even had point-per-game seasons the year before getting bought out. There are a lot of similarities here and someone is gonna get a great deal out of it.

Same Old Story?

I think you might see a bit of a trend here. Teams without an income tax have dominated the NHL in recent memory. The same group in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Tennessee simply have a financial advantage over the rest of the league. It would not at all surprise me to see either the Stars or even the defending champion Panthers scoop him up. They have the star power and depth to easily add someone like this for a reduced cost. Simply put, those teams are just the model franchises in the NHL today. And they’re gonna continue to be places where players want to play.

Jeff Skinner will have absolutely no shortage of interest in the open market this Monday. He has a new NHL chapter to start after a buyout of his contract.

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