Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, sent out this tweet yesterday around 7 p.m. EST., " 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."

Then a few hours later Bob McKenzie tweeted, "Jeff Skinner’s extension with CAR expected to be 6 years with an AAV of $5.725M."

The Hurricanes have been very aggressive this summer trading for Jordan Staal, signing Alex Semin, albeit only for one year, and now Jeff Skinner. It’s nice to see them go after and lock up some offensive stars, but more importantly for Oiler fans Skinner’s contract will have to be looked at as a comparable for Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle’s new deals.

You can look at Skinner and seem comparisons for both Eberle and Hall. Let’s first look at Skinner’s two NHL seasons. 

2010-2011 Hurricanes 82 31 32 63 3 46 6 0 2 215 14.4
2011-2012 Hurricanes 64 20 24 44 -8 56 4 0 5 210 9.5
  NHL TOTALS 146 51 56 107 -5 102 10 0 7 425 12

Even if you pro-rated Skinner’s 2nd season, 26-30-56 he still wouldn’t have matched his rookie season. It is interesting to note that Skinner had almost the same amount of shots in 64 games as he did in 82, but scored 11 less goals. Skinner is a solid player at EV, with 80% of his goals coming five-on-five.

Here’s a quick look at is first two season of icetime. (TOI), and how he compared amongst the top Hurricane forwards in icetime.


Player  Team Pos  GP  ES TOI/G  SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G  Shifts  TOI/S 
Eric Staal CAR C 81 16:04 1:24 4:27 21:56 2,229 48
Erik Cole CAR L 82 14:22 1:22 2:42 18:27 2,129 43
Jussi Jokinen CAR L 70 12:53 0:50 3:28 17:13 1,619 45
Cory Stillman CAR L 65 13:39 0:01 3:13 16:54 1,394 47
Brandon Sutter CAR C 82 13:43 2:21 0:46 16:50 2,018 41
Tuomo Ruutu CAR C 82 13:38 0:04 3:06 16:49 1,828 45
Jeff Skinner CAR C 82 13:31 0:01 3:10 16:43 1,818 45
Chad LaRose CAR R 82 14:05 1:25 0:29 16:00 1,881 42

As a rookie Skinner was exceptional. He tallied 31 goals and 63 points, and he played against mid-range opposition.


Player  Team Pos  GP  ES TOI/G  SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G  Shifts  TOI/S 
Eric Staal CAR C 82 16:27 1:26 3:38 21:32 2,367 45
Jeff Skinner CAR C 64 15:02 0:13 3:21 18:37 1,543 46
Jussi Jokinen CAR L 79 13:33 1:17 2:49 17:40 2,017 42
Brandon Sutter CAR C 82 14:36 2:20 0:26 17:23 2,140 40
Chad LaRose CAR R 67 14:05 0:41 1:58 16:45 1,554 43
Tuomo Ruutu CAR C 72 13:55 0:03 2:28 16:27 1,682 42
Jiri Tlusty CAR C 79 13:04 0:58 0:51 14:54 1,804 39

Skinner, like most young skilled players, is used mainly at EV and on the PP. When healthy, only Eric Staal played more minutes amongst Hurricane forwards.

The concerning part about Skinner’s 2nd season was that he played against "easier" competition most nights, yet he produced fewer points than his rookie season.

Amongst Hurricane forwards he was 9th in Corsi Rel QofC. He played more minutes, against weaker opponents, but he produced fewer points. In his rookie season he played against the other team’s top forwards. I’ve long suggested that it might be easier to produce points when you play against the other team’s top lines, than when you play against their checking line, which is usually deemed easier competition.

Either way, Skinner regressed in his 2nd season despite getting more icetime. Skinner went from 63 to 44 points and he still got a six-year extension. John Tavares tallied 24-30-54 as a rookie and then 29-38-67 sophomore and then he got a six-year extension worth $5.5 million/year.

Rutherford clearly wanted to make a statement to his players, fans and the league that the Hurricanes are willing to spend money to keep their star players. I like his aggressiveness, but I don’t see Skinner in the same light as Tavares. Tavares went from 54 to 67 to 81 points his first three years on Long Island. Skinner needs a huge bounce back season to even be considered close to Tavares.


Hall and Eberle are completely different players, but since breaking into the league as rookies two years ago they’ve consistently been linked together. Their jersey sales have been very close, live auctions of their signed sticks on my show garnered identical bids and thereis even a radio spoof about the two of them.

Many feel the Oilers should give them identical extensions, similar to Kane/Toews and the Sedins, except their cap hit should be closer to that of Tavares/Skinner.

We’ve seen Skinner’s numbers over two years, so let’s look at Eberle and Hall.


2010-2011 Oilers 65 22 20 42 -9 27 8 0 4 186 11.8
2011-2012 Oilers 61 27 26 53 -3 36 13 0 7 207 13
  NHL TOTALS 126 49 46 95 -12 63 21 0 11 393 12.5


2010-2011 Oilers 69 18 25 43 -12 22 4 2 5 158 11.4
2011-2012 Oilers 78 34 42 76 4 10 10 0 4 180 18.9
  NHL TOTALS 147 52 67 119 -8 32 14 2 9 338 15.4

Despite playing fewer games than Skinner in 2012, Hall still outscored him 53 to 44, while Eberle crushed him with his breakout 76 point season. It is an interesting contrast because Hall and Eberle both improved as sophomores, while Skinner suffered a bit of the sophomore jinx.

Now let’s compare Icetime and who they played against.


Player  Team Pos  GP  ES TOI/G  SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G  Shifts  TOI/S 
Shawn Horcoff EDM C 47 14:24 1:33 2:43 18:41 1,165 45
Ales Hemsky EDM R 47 14:16 0:47 3:13 18:16 1,138 45
Taylor Hall EDM L 65 15:26 0:01 2:43 18:12 1,446 49
Sam Gagner EDM C 68 14:25 0:22 2:56 17:44 1,496 48
Jordan Eberle EDM R 69 14:27 0:40 2:32 17:40 1,562 47
Andrew Cogliano EDM C 82 13:36 2:43 0:55 17:15 1,985 43
Magnus Paajarvi EDM L 80 13:31 0:01 1:50 15:23 1,534 48
Ryan Jones EDM L 81 10:52 2:07 0:50 13:50 1,596 42

As rookies, both Hall and Eberle had more TOI/G than Skinner, but they played 17 and 13 fewer games respectively. Like Skinner, Hall didn’t see any PK time, while Eberle had :40/game, meanwhile they were 3rd (Hall) and 5th in Corsi Rel QofC.


Player  Team Pos  GP  ES TOI/G  SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G  Shifts  TOI/S 
Shawn Horcoff EDM C 81 14:03 2:39 2:52 19:35 2,045 47
Ryan Smyth EDM L 82 14:26 2:09 2:28 19:04 2,038 46
Taylor Hall EDM L 61 15:06 0:02 3:03 18:13 1,328 50
Ales Hemsky EDM R 69 15:25 0:02 2:08 17:36 1,543 47
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins EDM C 62 14:33 0:01 3:00 17:36 1,301 50
Jordan Eberle EDM R 78 14:24 0:10 3:00 17:35 1,689 49
Sam Gagner EDM C 75 14:40 0:02 2:27 17:10 1,604 48
Ryan Jones EDM L 79 12:06 2:28 0:51 15:25 1,720 43
Eric Belanger EDM C 78 11:11 2:28 1:04 14:44 1,700 41

Hall and Eberle spent virtually the same amount of TOI from year one to year two, but they produced way more points as sophomores compared to rookies. The only difference was that Eberle played :30 less on the PK last year than he did as a rookie. Hall was 4th amongst the Oilers in Corsi Rel QofC while Eberle faced the 8th.



Player  Team Pos  GP  G A PTS ES TOI/G  SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G 
Jordan Eberle EDM R 147 52 67 119 14:25 0:27 2:45 17:37
Jeff Skinner CAR C 146 51 56 107 14:13 0:05 3:14 17:32
Taylor Hall EDM L 126 49 46 95 15:17 0:02 2:53 18:12

If you look at their career numbers (chart above) over two seasons, Skinner is right in the middle of them, 12 total points more than Hall, but 12 less than Eberle.

If you look at their career points-per-game Eberle sits at 0.81, Hall is at 0.75 while Skinner sits at 0.73.

Ultimately Skinner’s contract will be used as a comparable, just like Tavares’ will be and this should make the negotiations between the Oilers and their two young wingers and it should lead to a rather easy negotiation. The Oilers want to re-sign them and both players have expressed their desire to be part of the rebirth of the franchise.


There is no reason for either side to rush into an extension. Tavares signed his contract extension on September 15th, while Kane and Toews were signed on December 3rd, two months into the season. In their first two seasons Kane produced 142 points, while Toews racked up 123.

The difference between Kane/Toews and the other four is that Kane and Toews had already proven they could produce in the playoffs. Kane tallied 14 points in 16 games, while Toews contributed 13 in 17 games. Toews is easily the best two-way player of the six young forwards, so the contracts aren’t always just about money.

When Kane and Toews’ extensions kicked in the cap was at $59.4 million, so they were each 10.6% of the Hawks total cap. I don’t think it should matter much if the Oilers and the camps of Eberle and Hall wait until a new CBA is in place to sign a new deal.

If the cap stays at $70 million and they sign for Skinner-lie money that would give the Oilers more cap space because Hall and Eberle would each be 8.2% of the total cap hit.

If the cap drops to $65 million and they sign for $5.75 million they’d be 8.8% of the total cap hit. Either way the Oilers would have some cap flexibility.

The Oilers, as well as Eberle and Hall, need to look at the big picture and find the right cap hit that gives the players a fair market deal, but also gives the Oilers the flexibility to sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and their other young players.

If these players and management truly want to win, both sides need to show some fiscal constraint.

The Hurricanes don’t have an RNH or Yakupov to worry about in the future, so Rutherford elected to give Skinner a bit more than what he deserved, but that isn’t the case in Edmonton.

Comparables are great, but no two situations are the same and that’s why the Oilers and all of their young players need to look more at how successful teams paid their star players, rather than how some bottom feeders have paid their best players. 

  • Old Soldier

    I think there is more than one issue here. First, was the Skinner signing an overpayment? Yes, based on actual production and GP. Maybe not if you base it on projections. Also, one has to wonder if that would have been the same offer if Rutherford had 3 more players of similar or better skill to sign at the same time?

    On another thread someone questioned why Rutherford did this deal before the CBA, and the only reason I can think of is pressure from the player and agent to avoid any lowering of term or value of second contracts.

    I want the kids in the fold, and locked up soon, but not before the CBA. I am unabashedly pro-ownership this time around, and I believe there will be a holdout and no matter the discussion, the owners will hold out for 50% revenue split, a rollback around 16%, term limitations, and elimination of NMC/NTC. The owners have that one HUGE stick of guaranteed contracts, and the players will do anything not to lose that. I know that this view may not be popular, and that people say the owners won the last CBA, which they did, but like any governing body (including the legal community and the government), there will always be refinements neccessary after things are implimented and allowed to be judged over time. The last CBA was a start, this one wants to fix what the last didnt.

    Having said that, its hard to imagine no matter what, that there isnt some major changes in the CBA which will have dramatic effect on the Oilers, the cap, and second contracts. If we want the chance to keep not only the fab 4 but those following, Management needs to play everthing carefully and use every tool the new CBA allows.

    • John Chambers

      This was a great post. I agree with you – the owners have tons of leverage and I hope they succeed in pushing salaries down and like you say eliminating NMC’s. For a player to veto a trade, like the way Heatley did or Nash recently refused to entertain, is anti-competitive and prevents certain teams from leveraging the trade market to improve.

      Waiting is the optimal strategy for the Oilers. We’ll soon learn the parameters of the new CBA, and can leverage those parameters to sign our young core up for a very bright future.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Hall finished 9th in voting for the Calder Trophy, 2 spots behind the traded Sergie Bobrovsky. Anything more than 5 per looks to me to be a leep of faith contract for a yet to perform like the elite player we hoped the Oil were getting. Have to think he limits that next extension to 2 yrs. By then if the Oilers haven’t gotten their ducks in a row he may be looking elsewhere for a better quality hockey experience.

  • I see a lot of comparables between Edmonton and Carolina in that they are both small market teams, potentially considered undesirable for different reasons. Carolina is not a hockey town, but Edmonton has bad weather. Either, my point being is that maybe Skinner got more money because, like J Schultz he wanted to play in a bigger hockey focused city, instead of just looking for good weather. Hall and Ebs clearly want to be and play here, so I wonder if that factors into contract decisions.

    They should be payed what’s fair, but I wonder if they don’t take a bit of a discount like Crosby so management has room to bring in other players.

    Question, who do you think will end up with the best career? Kane, Toews, Hall, Ebs, or Tavaras? Or, to put it another way, if you had to pick one of these guys to be on your team for the next 7 years, who would it be? For me it’s a tossup between Hall and Toews, and before I start hearing about how Toews is more durable and safer, wasn’t he out for a while last season with a concussion?

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  • Lol, what a waste of skin!

    Tough to say who will be the best of the group.

    Nuge or Yak may very well end up being our top point producer, but there is a lot more to it then that.

    If I was picking one of these players to lead my team it would be a toss up between Hall and Toewes followed by Eberle then Tavares then Skinner then Kane.

  • OilLeak

    Great read Jason, glad to see you incorporating advanced statistics into your analysis.

    I believe the Oilers should wait until the new CBA is in place to resign Hall and Eberle. Also, if Eberle and Hall face stiffer competition this upcoming season that could temper the asking price from their agents come negotiation time.

  • Chainsawz

    If the new CBA puts a cap on contract length and both guys have the option out of town in 6-7 years, we’ll look back at this summer wondering why they weren’t locked up long term when the chance was there.

    But yeah, let’s wait for the new CBA and cost these guys millions of dollars. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

  • Dipstick

    I’ve been waiting patiently for someone else to bring up the obvious elephant in the room, but no one has yet. If we sign all of those young bucks to contracts as suggested above, how will we be able to re-sign Horcoff?