Jeff Skinner and the Buffalo Sabres have seemingly been a match made in heaven, but a contract extension has yet to have been reached and the trade deadline is quickly approaching.
Elliotte Friedman had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960.
The Insider was asked if the Sabres would risk going past February 25 with no contract extension in place for the pending unrestricted free agent winger.
“I think Buffalo would. I think they would,” mused Friedman. “I think there’s always the possibility that they will consider doing that, yes. I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility.
“There was an exec I know who was at their game last week against Carolina and Skinner scored twice and they got into overtime to get a point. And he’s like, ‘How can they let this guy go.’
“I think it’s a big number. It’s probably similar to Duchene, the rumors that were out there. But I could see the Sabres saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to take our chances with this.’ Because they do have the one advantage, they can always give him the extra year.
“Sometimes I think you take a chance with it and say, ‘Alright.’ And they’re still in the race. It’s not like they’re giving up. At the end of the year, they have that ability to say, ‘Alright, we control the extra year and we can do that.’”
A short time later Monday afternoon, Pierre LeBrun was on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290.
“I mentioned this in my piece today,” began LeBrun. “Unless Jeff Skinner wants out of Buffalo - which we’re getting the complete opposite indications, he seems to love playing there with Jack Eichel and is trying to sign an extension - he’s got a full no-move.
“And I think a lot of people forgot about that because he got traded from Carolina to Buffalo, but I was made to understand yesterday by a source - and I had forgotten yesterday myself - that that no-move and no-trade actually carried over, it did not leave. So he’s in full control of his destiny.
“Again, unless he comes out and says, ‘I want out,’ I don’t think Jeff Skinner is part of the trade deadline coverage. So we can probably forget about that side of things, whether he signs or not.”
Skinner is finishing up a six-year, $34.35 million pact, and has the no-move clause to which LeBrun alluded.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly