Buffalo Sabres fans were hoping that 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner would be re-signed by now and each day closer to July 1st increases the nervousness that they are feeling. However, TSN reports that GM Jason Botterill is not worried, at least not yet. Botterill remains confident that the two sides will come together on an extension, which as of the last update was in the eight years and $70-80MM range. Unless Skinner’s rights are dealt elsewhere, which seems unlikely given the GM’s optimism, no other team can match the Sabres’ offer given the benefit of that eight year. Botterill says that talks with Skinner have been ongoing since January, but there was brief pause in negotiations while Buffalo searched for their new head coach. However, Botterill notes that Skinner has since spoken to that new hire, Ralph Krueger, who also believes that Skinner will remain a Sabre. It seems that the two sides are back on a positive path, but with time running out before the free agent market opens, no assumptions can be made just yet.
- The Vegas Golden Knights are also hoping to re-sign a key player, veteran leader Deryk Engelland. However, the Knights are not going up against competing offers, but rather the draw of retirement. Engelland, 37, has enjoyed a decade of NHL action and could be tempted to hang them up. If he chooses to keep playing though, there is little doubt that he would only stay in his adopted home town of Las Vegas. Knowing this, The Sin Bin reports that the Golden Knights have made an offer to their alternate captain. It’s likely another bonus-laded, low cap hit one-year contract like the one he has signed in each of the past two years. At this time, Sin Bin notes that he has yet to accept. Engelland will likely take some time to consider his next step in his career after another long season.
- Adam Pardy has answered the call of retirement, but not after first accomplishing his ultimate goal this season. Pardy, 35, led his hometown Newfoundland Growlers to the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship in their inaugural season and now, The Telegram reports, he can ride off into the sunset. Pardy, while technically a free agent, has not been on an NHL contract in two years. He did play in 342 NHL games with five different teams over his long and winding career path though, last suiting up for four games with the Nashville Predators in 2016-17. After a year abroad in Sweden, he returned home to Newfoundland for an opportunity he couldn’t pass up with a pro team in his home province. Pardy recorded a career-best 21 points in 41 games and played a key role in a deep playoff run en route to a meaningful championship.