Jeff Skinner signs with Edmonton Oilers after buyout

After being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres, Jeff Skinner signed a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Skinner, who had three years remaining on his previous deal with the Sabres worth $9 million annually, agreed to a reduced salary of $3 million for the upcoming season with the Oilers.

To accommodate Skinner's contract and other signings, the Oilers made significant moves to free up salary cap space. They bought out goaltender Jack Campbell, who was set to earn $5 million per year for the next three seasons. 

Edmonton faced the challenge of retaining key players and filling roster gaps. They re-signed forwards Connor Brown and Corey Perry to one-year contracts totaling $2.15 million. Additionally, they secured Viktor Arvidsson from the Los Angeles Kings on a two-year deal worth $4 million annually.

In addition to focusing on forwards, the Oilers addressed their defensive needs by signing defenseman Josh Brown to a three-year contract worth $1 million annually. This move aimed to strengthen the blue line and provide stability in their defensive core for the upcoming seasons.

Despite strategic efforts to manage the salary cap, the Oilers found themselves exceeding it by an additional $2.54 million after completing their signings. This situation necessitated further adjustments to the roster, potentially through trades or other transactions, to achieve compliance with league regulations and accommodate the upcoming contracts of restricted free agents.

Jeff Skinner, known for his scoring ability, had a career-high 40 goals in the first year of his previous contract with the Sabres. His subsequent seasons were inconsistent in terms of production, but he bounced back with notable performances, including 30 goals and 63 points in the 2021-22 season and 35 goals and 82 points in the 2022-23 season.

Despite Skinner's occasional high-scoring seasons, his overall production did not justify the cost for the Sabres, leading them to buy out his contract. This decision allowed Skinner to become a free agent and sign with another team, presenting an opportunity for the Oilers to acquire a seasoned forward at a reduced cost relative to his previous contract.

By adding Jeff Skinner and other experienced players, the Edmonton Oilers aim to strengthen their roster for a deep playoff run and potentially contend for their first Stanley Cup since 1990. Skinner's scoring prowess and the team's strategic signings reflect their commitment to achieving competitive success in the upcoming NHL season.