Dreger: Skinner is 'going to earn a big paycheck'

TSN's Darren Dreger joined The Instigators for his weekly spot on Friday

Photo: Russell LaBounty - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres seem to have a dynamic first line with Jack Eichel centering Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville.

Skinner is currently on a torrid points pace this season on the final year of his six-year deal that he signed with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2012. In the first 16 games of the season, Skinner has scored 11 goals and seven assists, and is currently on pace to finish the season with 56 goals and 92 points in 82 games.

With Skinner at the pace he's at right now, many will want to see him re-signed as soon as possible. TSN's Darren Dreger joined Andrew Peters, Craig Rivet and Martin Biron on The Instigators on Friday to talk more on Skinner and the potential of what he might make for his next contract.

Dreger also touched base on goaltender interference in the NHL and the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Here is some of what he has to say: 

On if the Sabres have spoken with Skinner's agent yet on a new deal: 

"I'd be surprised if they haven't already engaged, to be fair. That's just common practice, you have your preliminary discussions and then they get a little more aggressive on both sides. It's in Jeff Skinner's interest to just focus on what he is doing because he's been terrific for the Buffalo Sabres." 

On if Skinner needed a change in scenery: 

"[Skinner] is the classic example for me of, sometimes players needing a fresh start. Now, it's not like he was toiling in Carolina or falling into an abyss there, but every time his name would come up in a trade rumor, there was always that lingering history: 'What about his history with concussions? Is his health going to be sustainable...' all of those things." 

On if Skinner could be looking at a deal similar to San Jose's Evander Kane (7 years, $49 million): 

"They might be looking at a similar payday, I don't think they're the same type of player. What you have is the pretty obvious chemistry that exists particularly on that line with Eichel and Pominville. That 5-5 goal last night [in Montreal], it was a tap-in for Jeff Skinner... Things are going well for them. Jeff Skinner, as long as he continues to play the way he's playing, he's going to earn a big paycheck." 

"Is it in the vicinity of Evander Kane, is it slightly higher than that? I think it's a little too soon to say, but if you get to the midway point of the season for the Buffalo Sabres, and his production hasn't dropped a little bit, maybe the number is a little bit higher than that."

You can listen to Dreger's entire interview below:

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