Canes GM tweets his hand on Jeff Skinner
Posted August 7, 2012
Updated August 8, 2012
The Carolina Hurricanes continue to be active this summer, via trades, free agency and now it looks like preventing a player from entering restricted free agency. President and General Manager Jim Rutherford tweeted from his account:
@HurricanesGM “It looks like we are going to be able to get Jeff Skinner tied up for a number of years. Exciting news for our franchise.”
The Hurricanes have not made a formal announcement of the extension, but when an NHL GM breaks news on twitter, an official press conference shouldn’t be that far off. TSN Canada's Bob McKenzie is reporting the deal is expected to be 6 years, averaging $5.725 million.
Why would Carolina be in a rush to lock up a player that is under contract for another year?
Look at what happened between Nashville, Philadelphia and the Predators star defenseman Shea Weber. Philly threw a 14 year deal worth $110 million at the Nashville captain in an offer sheet to the restricted free agent. Under the current NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Preds would have received two 1st round picks, a 2nd and a 3rd for the Flyers signing the defenseman to a deal worth between $6,728,781 to $8,410,976. While that is steep price, there is no guarantee that Nashville would have landed a player the caliber of Weber with any of those picks and had to re-sign their top player.
The Flyers offer sheet might have served as a warning to NHL GM’s that top teams are willing to give up late first round picks for top end talent. Add into the mix that there will be changes to the new CBA that could impact free agency and compensation, this move is a no brainer for Carolina. The Canes have struck gold with Jeff Skinner, and with his talent level and age, there is no need to risk having a team put a huge deal on his plate and force the Hurricanes into a corner.
Skinner in just two years has become a major piece of the Canes organization. With 51 goals and 56 assists in his career, he is one of the top young offensive producers in the League. With the addition of Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin to the Canes line-up, it reasonable to expect a big offensive year for the 20 year old winger entering the last year of his rookie deal. The organization wants Skinner here for a long time and Skinner is a perfect fit for this market, no reason to wait and risk some other team making a contract extension more complicated than what it need to be.
Jim Rutherford said he would be active this off-season, with the trade for Jordan Staal, the signing of Semin and extensions for Jeff Skinner and defenseman Jay Harrison, he has kept his word.