Sabres Rumors: Jeff Skinner’s Days in Buffalo Could Be Numbered

The Buffalo Sabres are desperate to take that next big leap in the 2024-25 season, and according to reports, they're considering a bold move that they feel would help them get there. 

Insider Elliotte Friedman suggests that the Sabres could buy out seven-time 30-goal scorer Jeff Skinner when the window opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is handed out. 

There's been some rumblings around the league that [buying out Jeff Skinner] is a possibility. ... The Sabres aren't talking and nobody is really talking here, but the word is definitely out there that for Skinner, a buyout is a possibility.

With three years remaining at a $9 million cap hit, it would be a costly one, at over $19.6 million against the cap spread out over six years. But Skinner's full no-movement clause would make it very difficult for the Sabres to trade him. 

The $7.5 million in savings against the cap this season and $4.5 million in savings next season might just make a buyout worth it for the Sabres.

New (old) head coach Lindy Ruff wants to emphasize defense, which has never been Skinner's strong suit, and with cap space at a premium as the Sabres try to improve this offseason, that massive cap hit is a huge hindrance.

Skinner, the former Calder Trophy winner as top rookie back in 2010-11 with the Carolina Hurricanes, had 35 goals and 82 points (a career-high) with Buffalo as recently as the 2022-23 season, but dropped off to 24 goals and 46 points in 74 games this past year. Over the course of his career, he's notched 357 goals and 313 assists for 670 points in 1,006 games. 

Skinner has never reached the playoffs in his 14 NHL seasons, and if the Sabres finally do breakthrough in the coming campaign, he just might not be around to enjoy it. 

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