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Jeff Skinner: a buyout in Buffalo, playoff hockey at last… and a Stanley Cup?
Credit: Getty Images

My colleague Raphaël Simard was right last week, when he wrote that Jeff Skinner could soon be bought out.

According to a Buffalo area columnist, Kevyn Adams will announce in the next few hours that he has indeed decided to buy out the 32-year-old forward’s contract. Elliotte Friedman spoke of this possibility just a few days ago…

The window to buy out contracts opens tomorrow (morning?), 48 hours after the Panthers’ coronation, and closes at 5pm on June 30.

Remember that a team must submit a player’s name to the unconditional waivers – and that he must be unclaimed – before it can proceed to buy out said player’s contract. Since he has a no-movement clause, Jeff Skinner could refuse to be submitted to the waivers and accept his buyout outright.

Since Skinner is probably well aware of his market value, he may go straight to the buyout, ignoring the regular process.

Skinner is currently worth $9 million on the Sabres’ payroll, and will remain so for three more seasons. If he is indeed bought out, the Sabres will save several million dollars (both real and accounting).

Buying out Jeff Skinner’s contract won’t be too restrictive for the Sabres.
(Credit: CapFriendly.com)

Skinner played over 1,000 regular NHL games, but never made the playoffs. He had his best career season in 2022-23 (82 points), but struggled in 2023-24.

Will Skinner emulate Ryan O’Reilly, Jack Eichel, Sam Reihart, Kyle Okposo, Brandon Montour and Evan Rodrigues by hoisting the Stanley Cup away from Buffalo? That would be quite a story.

Not easy, being a Sabres fan…

I expect Skinner to accept a one-year deal at a salary of two to $4 million, no more. And even though he’s used to success at the Bell Centre, I don’t see how he could end up with the Montreal Canadiens. He’s not the kind of player Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes are looking for. Even if some media outlets would have you believe it’s a possibility

We’ll be keeping an eye on the waivers this afternoon (2:00 p.m.), as a number of names are rumoured to be up for grabs in the next few hours: Jack Campbell, Kevin Hayes, Torey Krug, Nate Schmidt, Ryan Johansen, Cal Petersen, Conor Sheary, Cam Atkinson, Philipp Grubauer, Justin Holl and Jean-Gabriel Pageau have all been the subject of at least a few rumours to that effect. For Pageau, it was just a few hours ago!

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Jacob Trouba, Barclay Goodrow and Joona Korpisalo all seem to have avoided the worst…

Note that Kent Hughes has said he has no intention of buying out any contracts this summer. Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia, Josh Anderson and Brendan Gallagher can all rest easy, fgenre…

Overtime

– Ismaël Koné is said to be on the verge of being transferred to Marseille… for more or less 15 million Euros.

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