The Sabres aren’t going to be satisfied with simply signing Jeff Skinner to an extension this offseason.
According to The Athletic, the team has now turned its attention to the trade market in hopes of acquiring a second-line center and a top-six winger.
The same report says Buffalo has “kicked tires” on Wild winger Jason Zucker, who is coming off of a 42-point season in Minnesota.
Buffalo got off to a great start in 2018-19 as the Sabres had a 17-6-2 record which was spearheaded by a 10-game winning streak.
They were in a playoff spot for much of the first half of the year, but collapsed at the end of the season and finished up 33-39-10.
The team was 20-9-5 at one point having won just 13 games in regulation over their final 48 games.
Skinner’s deal is big as the Sabres locked him up for eight years Friday.
While he struggled at the end of the season much like the rest of Buffalo’s team, this was a sign the Sabres want to build on something rather than simply trading good players away in hopes of building down the road much like they did with Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly.
The lefty Zucker would be an interesting addition to the top two lines and would likely play alongside Kyle Okposo, if he were to be placed on the second line.
That particular move could kick Conor Sheary down to the third line as he is coming off two less-than-great seasons after he scored 53 points in 2016-17.