Sabres Rumors: What Does Buffalo Do With Jeff Skinner?

As the Buffalo Sabres gear up for a crucial offseason, all eyes are on veteran winger Jeff Skinner, whose uncertain future has become a focal point of speculation.

Michael Fairburn's analysis delves into the complex dilemma facing General Manager Kevyn Adams as he navigates Skinner's underwhelming performance, hefty $9 million annual contract, and full no-movement clause.

With Skinner's role diminishing and trade prospects dwindling due to his contract's size, the Sabres must explore alternative avenues to address his situation.

Skinner had a career-best season in 2022-23, recording 35 goals and 47 assists for 82 total points across 79 games played.

One potential strategy, as suggested by Fairburn, is for the Sabres to retain Skinner while reevaluating his role within the lineup.

This could involve surrounding him with stronger linemates or persuading him to embrace a reduced role to maximize his contributions. However, this approach hinges on Skinner's willingness to adapt and the team's ability to revitalize his scoring prowess within their system.

Coming off a career-best year this past season, Skinner took a step back, putting up just 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 total points across 74 games played.

Alternatively, Adams may contemplate the possibility of trading Skinner, although finding a willing partner to absorb his hefty contract presents a significant challenge.

Even with salary retention, the need to sweeten the deal with additional assets complicates any potential trade scenario.

The 31-year-old will be in the sixth year of his 8-year, $72M contract next season, carrying an AAV of $9M, signed back in 2019.

Another option on the table is buying out Skinner's contract, which would provide immediate cap relief but introduce long-term financial implications for the Sabres.

Ultimately, the resolution of Skinner's situation will not only shape the team's roster makeup but also serve as a critical test of Adams' leadership and strategic vision as the Sabres strive to position themselves for postseason contention. Photo Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports