In his weekly appearance with Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Elliotte Friedman talked about the Sabres and contract negotiations with Jeff Skinner’s representatives.
I believe those discussions have begun, or at least they’ve committed to doing it,” said Friedman. “It’s one of those things you’re kind of in a grey area in terms of where exactly they are, but the plan I heard was to start talking around now to start having some discussions. So I do believe there is either a commitment to do it, or they’ve done it. I can’t tell you it’s begun, but they’ve at least committed that it’s going to start around this time.
“You mentioned it, 22 goals now. Boy, what’s a 40-goal season worth in today’s NHL?”
“Too low, 6 million per year is too low.”
Everytime that Skinner scores, you would figure his price goes up. He’s been the hottest player all season, consistently great hockey.
“You know what the other thing that’s interesting about he leads the league in overtime goals this year. When he was in Carolina, I think the last three seasons, when he was on the ice in overtime I think they were outscored 11-4. So not only is his shooting way up, as you mentioned, but also just – I don’t know if it’s his luck or his fortune or whatever it is – he’s been completely different when it comes to overtime. Much more successful than he’s been in the past.
“Someone was telling me, ‘Why didn’t Carolina ever play him in overtime if he’s this good?’ And so I looked it up, and I found they played him in overtime a lot and they got tubed. So it just shows you how much things can change from team to team.”
“The other reason he’s going to get paid is because he’s proven if you put him with an elite-level player like Jack Eichel, he’s going to score. So if Buffalo doesn’t keep him – and I’m sure they will make every effort to do it – somebody else is going to look at him and say, ‘We’re going to put him with our elite guy and we’re going to have a great tandem.’
“So 6 is way too low. I’d be shocked if the number was only 6.”
Botterill is very smart in contract negotiations, Sabres fans have to feel confident that he will get a good deal done so Skinner remains a core piece for this franchise.
How much fun would it be watching Eichel and Skinner playing together for the next 8 years?