Sabres remain hopeful of signing Skinner to new contract

The Buffalo Sabres remain hopeful of signing forward Jeff Skinner to a new contract, general manager Jason Botterill said Wednesday.

Skinner leads the Sabres with 36 goals and is third in the NHL behind Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (42) and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (38). The 26-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"His group and ours have obviously continued our dialogue," Botterill said in Tampa, where the Sabres will play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV). "We haven't done play-by-play in the media just because that's the way we wanted to go about things. Both sides continue to work to try and find a resolution."

Skinner was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Aug. 2 for forward Cliff Pu, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, a third-round pick in the 2020 draft and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft. He has said he's enjoyed his time in Buffalo, but his future there is cloudy because the Sabres (28-24-7) have fallen six points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

#hockey, #professional

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