Why the Chicago Blackhawks should consider trading for Jeff Skinner this offseason

While Skinner's massive $9 million dollar contract has been an anchor for the Buffalo Sabres, it may actually provide some financial, and on ice value to the Blackhawks.
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The Chicago Blackhawks have salary cap space and a need to add veteran talent. The Buffalo Sabres need to get out of a bad contract.

For years Jeff Skinner's contract has been looked on as an exemplar of what not to do when negotiating with a player. Skinner had a terrific season way back in 2017-2018 with Carolina, when he scored 40 goals and earned himself a raise. However, Buffalo badly overpaid for his services, betting on the fact that he would remain a near 40-goal scorer based on one excellent year.

Unfortunately for them, he regressed.

In the following two seasons, Skinner has scored a total of 21 goals and 16 assists while missing a chunk of time. Those were the COVID-19 years, but even considering the unusual circumstances created by the pandemic, Skinner's massive $9 million deal suddenly looked like the single worst contract in all of the NHL.

Thankfully for Skinner, that wasn't the end of the story. Since those terrible years he has actually enjoyed several highly respectable seasons, putting up two 30-goal seasons in the last three years. So, the question becomes, is he really worth that $9 million cap hit? Well, no. At least not to the Sabres.