On Tuesday night, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford took to Twitter for the first time since announcing the signing of Alex Semin on July 26 to hint at an extension for young Jeff Skinner.
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 team officially announced the 6-year, $34.35 million contract on Wednesday morning. That's a $5.725 average annual value. According to the Hurricanes, Skinner's salary will be $4.35 million in the first year of his new deal (2013-14) and $6 million per season in the final five years. The deal will wrap up when Skinner is 27, taking him through two UFA years.
From the Hurricanes:
"Jeff is a cornerstone player for our team, and his long-term commitment to the Hurricanes is great news for our franchise and our fans," said Rutherford. "At 20 years old, he is still in the very early stages of his career, and we felt it was important to ensure he would be spending much more of it in Raleigh."
Jack Daly of the News and Observer spoke with Rutherford on Wednesday morning and when asked if there were concerns with giving a long-term deal to Skinner, who's had concussion issues, the Carolina GM said, "We always have concerns about players and the future, but that's part of the risk that everybody takes when you sign long-term deals."
Rutherford said he'd be aggressive this summer and after acquiring Jordan Staal at the Draft and signing Semin last month, he's now locked up Skinner for the next six years as the Hurricanes enter the season with a little over $12 million under the cap.
Now what will this mean for Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets? He's currently still unsigned as an RFA and reports last month had the team offering him a 6-year deal in the neighborhood of $29 million. The 21-year old Kane has improved in goals, assists and points in each of his three NHL seasons, while Skinner's numbers dropped off a bit last season due to his missing 18 games. Surely the asking price for Kane has now increased to at least Skinner territory.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy