Larkin: Strongly believe the Sabres 'need to pay Jeff Skinner whatever he wants'

Matt Larkin from The Hockey News joined WGR to discuss the NHL Trade Deadline for the Sabres and beyond

Schopp & Bulldog | Weekdays 3p-7p
February 22, 2019 - 4:27 pm

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Just three days sit between now and the official NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, February 25 at 3 p.m. A major move went down earlier on Friday as the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired forward Matt Duchene from the Ottawa Senators for a pair of prospects, and conditional first round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NHL Draft. Should Duchene sign with Columbus between now and the offseason, the 2020 first round pick would remain for Ottawa.

As for the Buffalo Sabres, it is more likely than not that the team does not make many drastic moves to try and bolster the current roster.  Buffalo is focused on trying to get a long-term contract extension signed with forward Jeff Skinner before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

For more ahead of the Trade Deadline, senior writer Matt Larkin from the Hockey News joined Mike Schopp and the Bulldog to discuss what's potentially to come over the weekend and into Monday for the Sabres, as well as the rest of the NHL.

Here is some of what Larkin had to say:

 

Larkin on the Sabres' deadline ahead:

"I strongly believe they need to pay Jeff Skinner whatever he wants. They don't need to acquire more first round picks. If you lost him in a trade, you might be stuck looking for another Jeff Skinner."

 

Larkin on Skinner:

"He may finish second in the NHL in goals. The Sabres have a lot of cap space, so he'll have a lot of leverage but Skinner has to know there's a cap on his value. If the asking price is $7.5 to $8 million dollars, the Sabres have to meet that demand. If he asks for around $10 million dollars, then yes, that might be a point where you have to move on."

 

Larkin on Rasmus Ristolainen:

"I'm starting to wonder about him. There's always a market for rangy, right-handed defenseman. I'm a Ristolainen apologist and I think he brings a lot of great things to the table. He does make mistakes, though. What types of names would be a fair exchange? I don't think that happens at the deadline; it's too complicated. Jake Debrusk in Boston? Kasperi Kapanen in Toronto? A guy that can be a legitimate top-six forward."

 

Larkin on the Columbus Blue Jackets:

"I always heard that they weren't moving Sergei Bobrovsky or Artemi Panarin. Getting Duchene as a rental sends the message that they're even more unlikely to trade those players."

 

Larkin on the Pittsburgh Penguins:

"They're nearing the end of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin's prime years. They should want to go for it. The problem is, they don't have anything remotely resembling a top prospect in their system."

 

We'll have complete coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline on WGR from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

Coverage on the NHL Trade Deadline on WGR is presented by The Ideal You Weight Loss Center.

You can listen to Larkin's entire conversation below:

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