Dreger: Skinner proving to be ‘world-class finisher’

So just how much money might Jeff Skinner earn on his highly-anticipated contract extension?

Darren Dreger was asked for his thoughts during a Thursday afternoon Leafs Lunch appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050, with an opening salvo of the $10 million mark annually put to the Insider.

“That’s very high for me, but it all depends obviously on the term that makes sense for Jeff Skinner and the Buffalo Sabres,’ indicated Dreger. “If he wants an eight-year term, then I think that you’re going to be somewhere around the $8 million mark, maybe a hair under if Skinner is really is really happy with Buffalo and knows that he’s got a good thing going there. On the open market, could he command more? Of course he could command more. But again, if I were the player, I’d be careful with this one.

“Management of the Buffalo Sabres told me recently that when they were tracking Jeff Skinner and talking about how he might be an interesting trade target for them, they did all the analysis of course. They recognized that he was a high chance getter for the Carolina Hurricanes. So they felt like he would be able to augment what they had offensively and some of their other young, developing guys. There’s no guarantee of that.

“Well, not only is he getting the chances now, but they are Grade A quality chances. Because as I said earlier, he’s playing with a world-class player in Jack Eichel. And Jeff Skinner is proving that he himself is a world-class finisher. So there’s always a premium when it comes to goal scoring, but to get that kind of money, he’s got to go back to the open market.

“I think that’s a dangerous game for a player who’s clearly comfortable with his new team in Buffalo.”

Skinner is in the final season of a six-year contract carrying a $5.725 million cap hit, and that includes a no-move clause.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly