McKenzie on potential Skinner extension money range

Jeff Skinner will be paid handsomely on his next contract, but how many millions of dollars are we talking about here?

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening TV hit on NBCSN, and was asked if Skinner might want to go anywhere else given how well he’s fit in with the Sabres, or if the team will try to lock him up.

“Well, money talks. Ultimately that will tell the tale, to a point,” noted McKenzie. “He likes the fit in Buffalo and the opportunity that he’s been given there that he didn’t feel like he was getting in his final days with the Carolina Hurricanes. As you point out, 29 goals in 43 games, second only to Alexander Ovechkin.

“Now, he’s making $5.725 million per year on the last year of his deal, and he’s going to unrestricted free agency. With him scoring as many goals as he has, and the meter’s running and the numbers keep going up and up, it’s virtually guaranteed that he’s going to get well over $7 million a year on a long-term deal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts looking in the more than $8 million range.

“So it’ll be him and the Sabres trying to sort that out. The belief is that Skinner’s agents are going to get together with Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill sometime over the course of the next week or two and see where things go.

“Now, if they don’t feel like they’re coming to an agreement and if Buffalo is out of the playoffs, they would at least have to consider maybe trading Skinner at the deadline.

“But, in a perfect world, they’re in a playoff spot and things are going reasonably well with Skinner that they would just hold onto him and try to make that playoff push.”

Skinner is making $6 million in salary this season, and his contract does include a no-move clause should it reach that point.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly