NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2019
The Sabres re-sign Jeff Skinner, Ivan Barbashev receives a one-game suspension and Patrick Marleau puts his Toronto home up for sale. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres last night reached an agreement with Jeff Skinner on an eight-year, $72-million contract extension. The 27-year-old left winger was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. His new deal is worth an annual average value of $9 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly provides the full details of Skinner’s new contract. He’s earned $10 million annually in actual salary through all but the final two seasons of this deal. In 2021 and 2023, he’ll receive $7.5 million in signing bonuses. It also comes with a full no-movement clause throughout.
Critics of Sabres general manager Jason Botterill quickly took to social media saying he overpaid to keep Skinner in the fold. They point to the decline in his goal production over the final two months of this season as a cause for concern.
Botterill, however, had little choice. Skinner established strong offensive chemistry with Sabres captain Jack Eichel. Letting him walk via free agency would’ve sent the wrong message to Eichel and his teammates, as well as the Sabres’ long-suffering fans.
Yes, this could end up being an expensive mistake by Botterill. But if Skinner continues to produce on Eichel’s line and helps turn the Sabres into a playoff contender, it’ll be considered as money well spent.
STLTODAY: St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev will miss Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. He received a one-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Marcus Johansson during Game 5. Blues GM Doug Armstrong called the punishment “excessive”.
THE ATHLETIC: Thanks to the solid defense in front of Jordan Binnington, the Boston Bruins are struggling to cash in offensively on the Blues goaltender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins fail to address this issue in Game 6 on Sunday they can forget about returning to Boston for Game 7.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Patrick Marleau put his Toronto home up for sale. Recent trade rumors have him linked to the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau is coming off a down season and carries a $6.25-million annual cap hit through 2019-20. Still, he could be moved to a budget club if the Leafs bundle him with a quality draft pick or prospect or perhaps a young NHL-ready player.
It could take until early-July for a potential Marleau deal to go down. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $3 million of his $4.25-million actual salary as a signing bonus on July 1. Interested clubs will likely prefer the Leafs pay that bonus.
LAUSANNE HC: signed forward Josh Jooris to a three-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jooris spent five NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He spent this season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.