Jeff Skinner's connection with Western New York

Jeff Skinner's impact goes beyond just on the ice.
Buffalo Sabres v Carolina Hurricanes
Buffalo Sabres v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

On Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres and their fans celebrated Jeff Skinner’s 1,000th career NHL game. It is a great honor for Skinner who has been a staple for the Sabres since he was traded in 2018. For the city of Buffalo, he has been a fan favorite in the community since getting acquired.

In 2019, coming after an NHL All-Star game appearance representing the Sabres, he continued his “53 Difference Makers” program which was launched in 2016 while he played in Carolina. The program recognized 10 teachers in the Western New York Area for their contributions to the community. Each teacher received Sabres tickets, a signed Skinner jersey and a meet and greet with Skinner himself. Also, he donated 1,000 dollars to each teacher’s school.

During the 2020 offseason during the COVID-19 pandemic, Skinner made three $53,000 donations in Buffalo and two towns in Ontario where he grew up and played junior hockey. This was during the NHL hiatus due to the pandemic. The money in Buffalo went to a relief fund designed by Pegula Sports and Entertainment. 

In September of this past season, he participated in the Sabres fan fest, playing Puckdoku with fans. Since coming to Buffalo, he has always taken time out for the fans. A few months ago, Jeff and backup goalie Eric Comrie visited the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in celebration of the Sabres military appreciation night. 

The city of Buffalo and the organization celebrated Skinner on Tuesday with a rousing pregame ceremony. Jeff and his family were presented with a silver hockey stick and Tiffany Crystal from the NHL. He is under contract with Buffalo through 2027.

Skinner and the Sabres will continue their end-of-the-season push. They have one more game in front of the Sabres faithful this season. After last night's victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo will have two road games before coming for the final time this season.