Flyers Should Sign Jeff Skinner If Buffalo Buys Out Contract

There are rumors of Buffalo buying out the contract of Jeff Skinner. If they do, the Flyers should consider signing the former 30-goal scorer.
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Jeff Skinner was one of the hottest names in free agency a few years ago. Or at least he would've been. The Carolina Hurricanes traded their star center to the Buffalo Sabres for three draft picks. Buffalo, a team that hadn't been in the playoffs since Barack Obama was still in his first term, was hoping Skinner could revitalize the young group.

So, it stunned the NHL world when he signed an eight-year extension to play for a sixth-place team. He's not from Buffalo, so there is no tie there. However, he signed with the Sabres anyway. Since then, Buffalo has finished as high as fifth place in the Atlantic Division twice.

The Sabres are looking to improve their team. There are several free agents they could use this offseason. However, Skinner's $9 million a-season salary is a hefty one. The Sabres still have three more years on that. As a result, there is a possibility they could buy him out.

Flyers should consider signing Jeff Skinner if he's bought out

Skinner is not the amazing forward he used to be. Let's be fair, however. It's not like the Sabres have surrounded him with talent (outside of Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch). And while Skinner just turned 32, he is two years removed from a career-high of 47 assists. Skinner scored 24 goals this past season. In his previous two, he scored 33 and 37 goals respectively.

If he became available, the Flyers should kick the tires on him. A center like Skinner could help turn this team around. Likewise, if the Flyers were to sign him, he might be cheaper than most of the top-line free agents. He could cost the team $6-$7 million. On a one to two-year deal, that could be worth it. He could also be traded to a team that could use a center for a playoff run and thus add assets to the Flyers' rebuild.

Skinner is a gritty sort of player. Having him line up at center would give the Flyers three solid veteran centers when added with Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton. That could be one of the strongest corps of centers in the league.

As teams get ready to buy players out, it will be interesting to see who becomes available. Hopefully, the Flyers could cash in on a solid player. Skinner would certainly fit that bill.