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Jeff Skinner reportedly turned down playing for Maple Leafs to join Oilers on 1-year deal

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Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
11 days ago
The madness that is free agent frenzy has cooled down significantly after a very chaotic July 1st, which saw 31 NHL teams sign at least one player with over $1.1 billions handed out in new deals .
Jeff Skinner, one of the more sought-after wingers on the open market, garnered plenty of interest from teams around the league after having his contract bought out by the Buffalo Sabres before free agency began, including the Toronto Maple Leafs — Skinner’s hometown team.
The 32-year-old Markham, ON native took his goal-scoring talents to Western Canada instead, joining the Edmonton Oilers on a 1-year, $3M contract, via Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
The news of Skinner inking a 1-year deal with the Oilers led Maple Leafs fans to wonder if their favourite team was ever in on the five-time 30-goal scorer. The Athletic’s Chris Johnston indicated that the Maple Leafs were indeed one of the finalists to land Skinner.
“But he’s going there [Edmonton] to win. I mean, he could have signed for one year and three million in about ten spots,” Johnston said on the latest episode of The Chris Johnston Show. “I know the Leafs were among the teams that had talked to him and were trying to pitch him in the idea, hey, you can play alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner on our team.”
Without a doubt, not many players in the league would turn down the opportunity to play alongside Matthews and Marner, especially if they’re from the Toronto area. But the situation Jeff Skinner is currently in, not having played a single game in the playoffs, it also hard to turn down the opportunity to play alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the team that just went to the Stanley Cup Finals and will have the same goal in mind next season.
Skinner recorded 357 goals and added 313 assists for 670 career points in 1,006 career games thus far in his 14-year career, split between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres. He joins an Oilers team primed for another deep playoff run in 2025 with the moves they made on day one of free agency.
(Stats from Hockeydb.com)

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