An NHL star is on the move, and it isn't Erik Karlsson or Artemi Panarin.
Jeff Skinner – a former Calder Trophy winner – is heading to the Buffalo Sabres, with a package of picks and prospect Cliff Pu heading to Skinner's old team, the Carolina Hurricanes, in return. Here's the full deal:
OFFICIAL TRADE: We've acquired Jeff Skinner from Carolina for forward Cliff Pu, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. pic.twitter.com/cFZswscWLS— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) August 2, 2018
The 26-year-old winger is in the final year of a six-year, $34.25 million contract and has established himself as a legit top-six forward, tallying 379 points in 579 career games with the Hurricanes.
This deal also represents another in a long line of moves by each of these teams this offseason. The Hurricanes and Sabres both already completed blockbuster trades of star players, with the Canes acquiring Dougie Hamilton from Calgary and the Sabres shipping Ryan O'Reilly out to St. Louis earlier this offseason.
Skinner will add some high-end skill and skating ability to Buffalo's lineup, which will look very different this season. Rookie Casey Middlestadt appears to be ready to take on a big role, while recently-acquired Conor Sheary, Tage Thompson and Vladimir Sobotka will look to make up O'Reilly's production.
Meanwhile, the return for Carolina seems to be more about quantity than quality, as they traded away an established star for future mid-round picks and a decent prospect. It is good news for the Blue Jackets, though, as it takes a quality player out of their division this season.
One thing is certain, though – Jeff Skinner must be really excited. He waived his no-move clause to facilitate the deal.
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