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Do you believe now?  Sports fans tend to be exceptionally polarizing people and that doesn’t lend itself well to early season analysis. The bad teams are quite bad, the good teams are quite good, and everyone in between is going to be fighting all season for a fringe playoff spot. Or so we tend to react. But the win and loss column is always fickle this time of the y…

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The overtime goal that clinched the Buffalo Sabres' 10-game win streak last November illustrated the impact Jeff Skinner can have on offense. The two-time All-Star corralled the loose puck, used his edge work and stickhandling to fool San Jose goalie Martin Jones, and sent the sold-out KeyBank Center crowd into a frenzy with a back-handed shot into the net. That was the…

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The Buffalo Sabres' white and gold 50th anniversary jersey was unveiled to rave reviews Friday, but the talking point for the surviving members of the famed French Connection line Saturday was about the colors they wore. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary sweater, the team announced it was returning its primary color to royal blue for the 2020-21 season. Just as i…

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TORONTO — The puck careened off the blade of Jeff Skinner’s stick and wide of the empty net, banging off the glass near a group of unsuspecting spectators on a Friday night in late July. Skinner slightly shook his head and clenched his lips, yet he quickly took his place in front of the net to try to tip the next shot from his skills coach, Bill Bowler. Skinner score…

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Jeff Skinner did not need much time to endear himself to Buffalo sports fans. The affable 27-year-old winger was the architect of some of the Sabres' finer moments during his first season with the team, including his 10 goals during a historic 10-game winning streak last November. "Jeff Skinner for Mayor" yard signs popped up around town. Fans wearing No. 53 jerseys wer…

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TORONTO — Jeff Skinner emerged from the doorway of the crowded brewery, acknowledged the crowd and took his place among his fellow competitors Thursday night. Skinner grew up only 25 miles from downtown Toronto, yet the reception was not some sort of hometown welcome. The Buffalo Sabres left winger was one of 17 current or former NHLers competing in Smashfest, a charity…

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Travis Yost has been involved in the world of hockey analytics for a decade and is part of TSN's Hockey Analytics team. Prior to joining TSN, Yost was a contributor at the Ottawa Citizen, the Sporting News and NHL Numbers, and he has been a consultant for an NHL franchise. He will be contributing breakdowns on the Buffalo Sabres for The Buffalo News. Follow Yost on Twitter…

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Jeff Skinner paused and smiled when he heard the applause, stepped away from the press conference table and walked to the back of the KeyBank Center atrium to greet three Buffalo Sabres fans who were leaving the nearby team shop Tuesday afternoon. Skinner, the recent recipient of the second-largest contract in franchise history, chatted with the group and posed for a fe…

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Jeff Skinner says Buffalo and the Sabres "checked all those boxes" that he was seeking, which is why he decided to sign an eight-year contract to remain with the team. In a first-person essay posted on the team website, Skinner says, "I wanted to be in a place where I believed the team would be competitive. It's a long commitment, so being comfortable in the community w…

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Buffalo Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill acknowledged he took a calculated risk by signing Jeff Skinner to an eight-year, $72 million contract extension Friday night. Skinner, 27, is under club control through the 2026-27 season, only a few weeks before he turns 35, and, along with Jack Eichel, will account for 22.5 percent of the Sabres' salary cap for 2019-20, c…

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The Buffalo Sabres could only accomplish so much without knowing if Jeff Skinner would depart as an unrestricted free agent. General Manager Jason Botterill was unsure how much cap space would be at his disposal or what he needed to acquire via trades or free agency. With Friday's news that Skinner has signed an eight-year contract worth $72 million, Botterill can now p…

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The signing of Jeff Skinner to an eight-year contract with an average annual value of $9 million means the Sabres have $19 million going to Skinner and Jack Eichel. With the salary cap at $83 million, those two salaries represent 22.9 percent of the cap. That is sixth in the league for salary cap space for a team's top two players, according to numbers compiled via capf…

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Jeff Skinner agreed to an eight-year, $72 million contract to remain with the Sabres. The contract has the second-largest overall value in franchise history behind only Jack Eichel's eight-year, $80 million deal. Here are the top six cap hits: Player Signed Terms Cap hit Jack Eichel 2017 8 years, $80 million $10M Jeff Skinner 2019 8 years, $7…

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So the Jeff Skinner melodrama is officially over. On one hand, you can say good for the Sabres and General Manager Jason Botterill. On the other hand, what else could they do? The Sabres had to pay Skinner. And at $9 million per season for eight years, it's a bit of an overpay at least for now. Skinner can repay the team with some more 30- or even 40-goal seasons to …

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Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill finally has an answer to the question he's been asked since the moment Jeff Skinner arrived in Buffalo last summer. Skinner, the 27-year-old winger who captivated the fan base with a career-high 40-goals last season, is remaining in Buffalo after signing an eight-year contract worth $72 million that could keep him in a Sabres unifo…