What will Jeff Skinner do this off-season?
The Buffalo News: Jeff Skinner will be free to sign with any team if he does not sign a contract extension with Buffalo before July 1.
The Sabres likely will be the favorite to sign Skinner if a deal is not struck before the calendar flips to July. They have $23 million in cap space and are in the best position to pay a long-term contract with an average annual value between $7 million and $9 million, a significant raise from the $5.75 million Skinner counted against the cap this season.
The Florida Panthers are expected to be aggressive in the free agent market this summer. The Panthers covet Artemi Panarin but if they are unable to sign him, Skinner will be plan B.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will likely target Skinner if Panarin departs via free agency. The Blue Jackets are projected to have $28 million in cap space.
The New York Islanders could give Skinner the quickest route to the playoffs. They are expected to have $31 million in cap space and need help up front after they scored the fewest goals in the NHL during the regular season.