Jeff Skinner

Columnist thinks ‘Canes should consider trading Jeff Skinner


It’s no secret the Carolina Hurricanes struggled on defense this past season. Going without goalie Cam Ward didn’t help matters much, but even with him in there they had problems keeping other teams from generating offense.

Raleigh News & Observer columnist Luke DeCock has a solution for that problem and some ‘Canes fans may not dig it.

If the opportunity arises to add an elite defenseman, it may require parting with part of that core group. It would have been unthinkable a year ago, but it is worth some serious thought about what trading Skinner might bring in return.

Now that’s a bold idea.

DeCock says Carolina should be looking to pick off players from teams needing to get under next year’s salary cap. According to CapGeek, Carolina is at $56.6 million for next year with 17 players signed. That’s a good spot to be in with a handful of expiring deals.

Dealing Skinner and his $5.725 million cap hit through 2019, an extension that kicks in next season, would be rather disingenuous but that line’s already been crossed when Philly dealt Jeff Carter to Columbus two summers ago. Add in that Skinner’s numbers have dropped each season and you’ve got yourself  a hot debate.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.