Jeff Skinner struggled the second half of last season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner not interested in waiving no-movement clause

LAS VEGAS – The Buffalo Sabres have been exploring their options for veteran winger Jeff Skinner, including asking him to waive the no-movement clause in his eight-year, $72 million contract.

Not surprisingly, Skinner, who has three seasons remaining on his massive deal, said, uh, no thanks.

“There’s been honest communication, but no indication that that’s something they’re willing to look at,” Adams said Thursday of Skinner and his representatives at Newport Sports. “But all you can do is just have honest conversations and explain certain situations that could be out there, and we’ve done that.

“But, yeah, I wouldn’t say there’s been any sort of traction or movement.”

Waiving the clause could help Adams facilitate a trade. The Sabres, who own an NHL-record 13-year playoff drought, could also pay Skinner to leave. Thursday opened a four-day window in which teams can buy out contracts.

Adams said no decision has been made on Skinner’s future.

Clearing Skinner’s contract or at least some of it could create salary cap space for the Sabres to make a bold move and acquire perhaps a first- or second-line forward during the NHL Draft, which kicks off with the first round tonight, or when free agency opens Monday.

Right now, Skinner’s clause gives him the leverage.

“Basically, as we look at this weighing everything, what are potential trades that we think help our team get better?” Adams said in the Wynn Hotel. “If we made a move, where does Jeff slot in our lineup? Jeff’s been an elite scorer in this league for a long time, but if not playing a top-line, top-minute type role, where do you slot a player like that?

“So those are all the things we’re kind of weighing. But we’re heavily in those conversations internally and externally, and we still have time to make our final decision.”

If the Sabres use a buyout, they must pay Skinner two-thirds of his remaining salary – $2,444,445, according to – over the next six years.

During that period, $19,666,670 of Skinner’s contact would count against the salary cap, according to CapFriendly. The Sabres would save $7,333,333 against the cap.

Skinner, 32, just endured a tough season, scoring 24 goals and 46 points, a 12-goal and 36-point drop following a career year. He struggled down the stretch, mustering zero goals and one assist in the final 13 games. He compiled seven goals and 13 points in his last 36 outings.

The Sabres have a new coach, Lindy Ruff, who will likely install a more rigid system. Skinner, of course, is known as a one-dimensional scorer.

Skinner has played 1,006 regular-season games, an NHL record for a player who has never appeared in a playoff contest.

Overall, he has compiled 367 goals and 670 points in his 14-year career.

“He’s clearly an elite offensive player and … I will say is it was nothing negative with his personal game. I think we all, as a team, didn’t perform well enough and how does that affect individuals? … We underperformed last year as a group. We have to make hard decisions up and down our lineup. We have to find ways to get better and every decision we make this offseason will be with that in mind. That will be part of the process we go through with Jeff.”

4 thoughts on “Sabres’ Jeff Skinner not interested in waiving no-movement clause”

  1. If winning was important to Jeff Skinner he’d ok a trade to a contender. Seems after all these years in the league he’s happy to just collect his money.

    1. Maybe it’s not a contender they want to send him to. With that salary he’s headed to a team with lots of cap space. A team rebuilding, with cap space, I’m guessing. Would you wave if that was the case?

  2. I think a buyout is wasteful, are we going to sign a better player with the money we save? No, plus an extra 3 year penalty, no thanks.
    Also, why would he waive? If he gets bought out he gets 1.33* his salary and gets to sign somewhere else for more on top of that. He could join a contender, get more money, and not drain that contending team of any picks or anything to get him there.

  3. It doesn’t matter who the Sabre’s pick!
    We’ve let some of the top players in the NHL slip through fingers! How about 4 to the Fla. Panthers. We have been the farm team for the NHL for more than 15 years and you wonder why we’re not in the playoffs for 13 years.
    The problem is not with the talent we acquire, it’s the management of the team! We have just hired a coach who we’ve fired along with 4 other teams who fired him!
    There’s a saying that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity and that describes the Buffalo Sabre’s management teams to a T.

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