Jeff Skinner was all smiles Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Comfort helped convince Jeff Skinner to sign long-term contract with Sabres

BUFFALO – For eight seasons, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner only knew one organization. He grew up with the Carolina Hurricanes, joining them as a teenager and quickly becoming the face of the franchise. He felt a certain comfort there.

So his transition here could’ve been tough. Everything was new. Even the best players often need time to acclimate.

“It was a lot of change and there was a lot of adjustments, I think,” Skinner said ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner will be 34 when his contract ends. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rewards of Jeff Skinner’s long-term contract outweigh risks for Sabres

Jason Botterill sensed he would be asked a question about 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner’s new long-term contract, so the Buffalo Sabres general manager decided to answer it himself.

“Probably one of the next questions is going to be about giving an eight-year contract to a 27-year-old,” Botterill said of Skinner’s $72 million deal on a conference call Saturday, a day after awarding the hefty contract. “But there’s always going to be risk sometimes in doing ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner is the second-highest paid Sabre. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres re-sign Jeff Skinner to eight-year, $72 million contract

In the end, the Buffalo Sabres needed to re-sign slick winger Jeff Skinner, even if it meant overpaying the 40-goal scorer.

As a 27-year-old fresh off a career season and just weeks away from becoming an unrestricted free agent, the two-time NHL All-Star possessed most of the leverage.

So late Friday, the Sabres awarded Skinner an eight-year, $72 million contract.... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner just finished a career-best season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres close to re-signing Jeff Skinner to huge long-term contract

The Buffalo Sabres are close to re-signing 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner to an eight-year contact with an average annual value of around $9 million, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: The Sabres announced tonight Skinner has signed an eight-year, $72 million contract.

As a 27-year-old fresh off a career season and just weeks away from becoming an unrestricted free agent, the talented winger possesses plenty of leverage.

The Sabres, one of the NHL’s laughingstocks, desperately ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger talks Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger arrives in Buffalo ready for new challenge

BUFFALO – Ralph Krueger spent the last five years running a soccer team in England, so on Wednesday, his first full day in his new city as Sabres coach, he was having NHL games loaded on a laptop.

“To look a little bit deeper,” Krueger, who was hired May 15, said during a news conference in the KeyBank Center atrium.

In addition to getting up to speed on the Sabres, Krueger, 59, must examine how ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner scored 40 goals in his first season in Buffalo. ©2019, Hickling Images

Ralph Krueger believes Jeff Skinner wants to stay with Sabres

BUFFALO – Shortly after being named coach last month, Ralph Krueger called winger Jeff Skinner, the 40-goal scorer the Sabres are trying to re-sign to a long-term contract.

Krueger said after a long and productive conversation – “I could feel his unbelievable passion for the game,” he said – he hung up the phone believing Skinner, 27, wants to return to the Sabres.

“His tone in his voice when it came to the past ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner scored a career-high 40 goals in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill knows Jeff Skinner interested to see coach

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill understands 40-goal winger Jeff Skinner needed to know something important before making a huge decision.

“If you’re going to sign a long-term contract with an organization, you kind of want to know who the head coach is,” Botterill said Wednesday after announcing Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Skinner, who turns 27 on Thursday, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Until ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner was the Sabres' first 40-goal scorer in 10 years. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner needs time to think about future

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner needs time to decompress following a grueling 82-game season before he starts thinking about his next contract.

Sure, the 40-goal scorer said he loves playing in Buffalo. Despite the Sabres’ sorry season – coach Phil Housley was fired Sunday – he believes they’re heading in the right direction.

But Skinner, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, made sure his contract took a backseat during the season.... Read the full article

Phil Housley began his Hall of Fame playing career with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ second-half regression cost Phil Housley his job

BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.

On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article