Photo via @S7dsn (Twitter)
The Sabres made a splash tonight by acquiring left winger, Jeff Skinner from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect winger, Cliff Pu, a 2019 2nd round pick, a 2020 3rd round pick, and a 2020 6th round pick.
I love this trade for the Sabres. When I first saw that Skinner was dealt to Buffalo the first thing that popped in my head was that one of their three first round picks had to be included in the deal but they were able to avoid that somehow. Cliff Pu had a really good junior career in the OHL and will turn pro this season but Pu kind of reminds me of Bailey and Baptiste at the same age. I highly doubt that he will become a top six forward in the NHL. He’s more likely a third line winger if he makes the NHL. So I wouldn’t lose sleep over him being in the trade. Losing the 2019 2nd kind of hurts but they have three first rounders so I would say that the pick was expendable.
They got a top six scoring winger for less than market value and that is a huge win for Jason Botteril. Buffalo’s left wing depth was looking pretty bare before this trade. It still doesn’t look great but at least it is respectable with Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary as your top two left wingers.
Skinner is going into the last year of his contract that carries a cap hit of $5,725,000 so I would go to assume that the Sabres will make a bug push to sign him to an extension soon. The common pessimistic Buffalo sports fan will ask themselves, hey why would Skinner want to sign an extension here? Skinner has a no movement clause in his contract where he can pretty much decide on where he can be traded to and it was rumored that Skinner vetoed several trades that Carolina had in the works, one being the L.A. Kings. It says a lot about Buffalo when you see that Skinner’s prefered list of destinations was so thin and he still decided to come here despite a last place season in 2018.
I expect that Skinner will eventually sign an extension with Buffalo. It will definately be better for Buffalo if they can get the contract done as soon as possible because Skinner playing with Eichel will help his production out a lot and could very well raise his asking price for a contract. Skinner will probably be looking at a similar contract to what Evander Kane got from San Jose at seven years/seven million.
Skinner’s concussion history has been brought up a lot but hasn’t had a concussion since 2014 so at this point I don’t think it’s anything to really worry about.
With the departure of Evander Kane at the trade deadline, the Sabres were looking to bring in another goal scorer and Jeff Skinner brings just that.
I love this trade for Buffalo and Skinner is going to have a great season playing alongside of Jack Eichel.
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