Sabres winger Jeff Skinner is off to a strong start with his new team after Buffalo acquired him in the offseason from Carolina. Through his first 11 games this season, he has a dozen points to lead the team in scoring. While the team is certainly pleased with his performance thus far, Skinner is also bolstering his case when it comes to his next contract.
He currently is making a $6MM salary with a $5.725MM cap hit and is poised to improve upon that as a pending UFA this summer. Jared Clinton of The Hockey News suggests that the best comparable player may actually be the player he ultimately replaced on the Sabres in winger Evander Kane. Kane signed a seven-year, $49MM contract this offseason but Skinner has actually been the more productive player in terms of goals per game and points per game over that span. Fortunately for Buffalo, they have plenty of salary cap space to work with if they want to give the 26-year-old that type of raise as they have just under $55MM committed to 14 players for next season, per CapFriendly.
More from the East:
- Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the last two games, notes TSN’s Kristen Shilton (Twitter link). However, Toronto plans to give him a little more time to rest and plans to play Martin Marincin for at least one more game in his place. After making an impact after a midseason recall last year, Dermott has been quieter out of the gate this season with just a single assist through nine games.
- Despite his trade request and eventual departure from the Avalanche last season, Senators center Matt Duchene hasn’t closed the book on playing in Colorado again down the road. Speaking with reporters, including Postmedia’s Ken Warren, Duchene indicated that he could see himself returning to the Avs one day. The veteran is a pending unrestricted free agent but it would certainly be surprising to see him head back to Colorado so soon after forcing a trade.