According a report from Buffalo Sabres insider Jeremy White of WGR Buffalo, the team could be in serious jeopardy of losing leading scorer Jeff Skinner to free agency this offseason, given Skinner’s high contract demands.
The 26 year old Skinner is off to an absolutely TERRIFIC start for the surging Sabres, having scored an incredible 14 goals and 21 points in his first 20 games with the team. Skinner, of course, was acquired this past offseason in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, but with just this season left on Skinner’s contract it was a HUGE risk by Sabres management to acquire him. Now, with his eyes set on a big free agent pay day, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill could be a victim of his own making.
Check out this report from White:
Per SuperSecretSabresTwitterSource Skinner looking for 8 years @ 9-9.5 million to keep him from going to the market.
Ouch… $9 million to $9.5 million per year for eight years?! Skinner is a good player and all, but that puts him in the realm of players like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Malkin, Jamie Benn and P.K. Subban. No offense to Skinner, but he’s simply not in that upper echelon. The Tampa Bay Lightning recently inked superstar Nikita Kucherov to a $9.5 million annual deal following a season in which he was a nominee for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Skinner still has some work to do if he’s going to earn that kind of dough.