3 reasons why a hypothetical Jeff Skinner trade makes no sense for the Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres should be one of the more active teams this offseason, and perhaps a Jeff Skinner trade would be one of those blindside moves.
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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Jeff Skinner is still one of the Sabres most productive players

Constant instability is one hindrance Sabres fans have been through many times since their last playoff appearance in 2011, and trading a player who has since become one of its best scorers and longer-tenured players makes no sense on the surface, even if there will be lineup changes this offseason. If Skinner was still playing the way he did in 2019-20 and 2020-21, dumping his contract onto another team would be a perfect idea, assuming he agreed to it, but that isn’t the case in 2024. 

While Skinner didn’t play as well last season, he was still their third-best scorer with 24 goals. He’s been one of the few players for the Blue and Gold to have enjoyed sustained success, even with the drop-off, over the past three seasons, much like Alex Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin, and Tage Thompson. 

While trading Skinner would make sense in making room to add perhaps a player with more upside at this point onto the top line, it doesn’t come without risk. The Sabres know they’re getting a productive player in Skinner, and they also know what he has given them on the top line in the past. 

With a new head coach in Lindy Ruff and a lineup that has performed better than what we saw during the late 2010s, the Sabres need to keep those pieces that have given them better returns. Sure, they need to improve the lineup, but it’s a major risk to make improvements if it means potentially doing so at the expense of moving a player like Skinner.