On August 2nd, 2019, the Carolina Hurricanes sent winger Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Cliff Pu and three draft picks. So, was it the right decision? Did the Hurricanes get enough of a return for someone who was once the best player on the team? Well, I’m going to talk about all of this and you can make your own decision based on this information at the end.
So, let’s start with Skinner during his time in Raleigh. He was one of the Canes’ best players. Multiple times he was the Canes’ top producer in the regular season. He was one of the leaders on the ice and he did it by example, wearing an “A” for a brief stint during his time in Raleigh. To say he was an important part of this team would be underselling his value.
Today, Jeff Skinner is still 5th in Hurricanes/Whalers history in goals, 8th in points, 10th in games played, 4th in even-strength goals, joint ninth in game-winning goals, 3rd in shots taken, and joint 8th in hat tricks. He’s one of the best players in the history of the franchise, but he happened to play for the team during the darkest spell of its existence. Still being the ultimate professional, Skinner never complained about his time on some pretty awful teams.
As we approached the 2018-19 season, Carolina had just had the 2nd overall pick and taken a winger that they hoped would improve their franchise ten-fold. Skinner was also looking for a new contract, so the Hurricanes decided it was best to move on from the Toronto, Ontario native. Skinner was moved to Buffalo in exchange for Pu and three draft picks. We will get into those picks in a minute, but let’s start with how Skinner has done in Buffalo.