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Saturday Flurries: The Skinny on Jeff Skinner’s new contract

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And how does it affect the Avalanche?

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Buffalo Sabres
Oct 11, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jeff Skinner (53) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) go after a puck during the second period at KeyBank Center.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Lead

On Friday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres inked left winger, and pending unrestricted free agent, Jeff Skinner to an eight-year contract worth $9 million per season. According to Cap Friendly, the cap hit for 2019-20 is the 14th highest in the NHL as of today. He will surely be surpassed by a handful of restricted and unrestricted free agents later in the summer.

One of those players will be young Colorado Avalanche superstar Mikko Rantanen, who is set to make upwards of a million dollars more than Skinner on a similar-termed deal. Based on contract projections by Evolving Wild, Skinner was worth in the range of $8.5 million on a max length deal. The fact that he got a half-million raise to that number suggests Rantanen’s $10 million contract projection will be higher by a similar amount. As more high-end players get signed — especially players like Mitchell Marner, Brayden Point, and Sebastian Aho — the better idea we’ll have on the number for Rantanen.

The Sabres acquired Skinner from the Carolina Hurricanes just before the start of the season as a one-year rental that ended up being a steal of a deal for them as one of the pieces that went back to Carolina already hasn’t panned out. The Sabres saw that they wanted this player for the long term over nine months ago and “secured the bag” as it were, keeping him to be the permanent wingman for Jack Eichel for the foreseeable future. The Sabres have two, arguable three, good players now. It’s a start.

Jeff Skinner’s RAPM chart from 2018-19.
Evolving-Hockey.com

Let us know in the comments what you think about the signing and whether you think it’ll have an effect on the Colorado Avalanche during signing season. Do they buy someone else? Or has the market priced them out?

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