Dreger: Sabres & Skinner won't have contract talks until mid-season

November 21, 2018 - 3:26 pm

There are two big questions with the Buffalo Sabres right now. Are they actually this good? Will they sign Jeff Skinner long term? TSN Insider Darren Dreger joins The Instigators every Friday, but with Thanksgiving being this week he joined the guys on Wednesday morning. Dreger says he's heard Skinner contract talks won't pick up for a little bit.

"What I know is this, I checked in on this in training camp. I believe that both sides, the agent, the player, and the Buffalo Sabres made an agreement prior to the start of the season that they weren't going to have any contract talks or discussions until the midway point of the season.

"So, around Christmas, maybe shortly before, shortly after, whatever it is. That doesn't mean that they're going to grind out hard negotiations at that point, that's just a conversation of 'well we like where Jeff's at, we think he can be a valuable piece of the Sabres moving forward, where are you guys at?'"

Skinner is in the final year of a 6-year deal that cost a $5.725 cap hit to his team. At age 26 and on pace to set his career high and goals, Skinner will surely be looking for a big pay day.

The Sabres already have a good amount of salary tied up in forwards. Next season they already have over $31 million committed to the front end. That includes six forwards costing over a $3 million cap hit (Eichel, Okposo, Berglund, Reinhart, Sobotka, Sheary). Skinner and Jason Pominville are unrestricted free agents, while Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons, Remi Elie, Evan Rodrigues, Nathan Beaulieu, and Jake McCabe are restricted.

You can hear Darren Dreger's entire conversation with The Instigators below.

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