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Jeff Skinner Signs Extension To Remain In Buffalo

11 June, 2019, 04:40 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Sabres Skinner Hockey

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jeff Skinner tells The Associated Press he is grateful for the faith the Buffalo Sabres showed in making him their second highest-paid player and welcomes the increased expectations that come with his newly signed eight-year, $72 million contract.

Skinner will be relied on to be a major piece after scoring a career-best and team-leading 40 goals in his first season in Buffalo. He parlayed a huge season into a wheelbarrow full of cash, and now he'll be a cornerstone of the Buffalo franchise, building together with center Jack Eichel and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

Skinner led the Sabres with 40 goals this past season and has scored at least 20 goals a season in eight of his nine seasons in the National Hockey League.

Skinner put aside missing the playoffs for the ninth time in his career by saying he's impressed by the young talent Buffalo already has assembled.

The Sabres followed their 10-game winning streak in November by closing the season winning 16 of their final 57 games, which led to coach Phil Housley's firing two years into his tenure.

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While he struggled at the end of the season much like the rest of Buffalo's team, this was a sign the Sabres want to build on something rather than simply trading good players away in hopes of building down the road much like they did with Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly. "I like the city and I had a great time". "And fortunately for me, I'm very happy with how it ended up".

Re-signing Skinner was general manager Jason Botterill's next priority after filling the team's coaching vacancy by hiring Ralph Krueger three weeks ago.

Krueger on Wednesday said he was acting on the belief Skinner would return after having a lengthy chat with the player by phone.

"It's going to take some time and it's not going to happen in the first couple of days", he said while cleaning out his locker two days after the season ended. What caught him by surprise is how passionate the Sabres fan base is, something Skinner never realized during the Hurricanes' visits to Buffalo.

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