Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: kyle okposo
From Newsday's Arthur Staple:
John Tavares knows how much his Islander team has changed this summer. Even though longtime teammates and friends Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin departed July 1 in free agency and Tavares knew long before then that there was a chance all three could leave, it’s still hard for the Isles captain to believe.
“It hasn’t even really sunk in, maybe until you don’t see them at training camp or during the season and that hasn’t happened yet,” Tavares told Newsday earlier this week. “I don’t think people realize how much I lean on Kyle and Frans, as well as guys like Travis , Clutter [Cal Clutterbuck], Johnny Boychuk. Having those different perspectives is a huge help. And personally for me, you go through a lot of ups and downs and you’re trying to manage a lot of things. When you have people you can rely on, especially with those friendships I have with Kyle and Frans are deep.”
The challenge now, with a little over a month until the Islanders open training camp, is how to handle the loss of three such deeply ingrained players in the fabric of this organization — Okposo and Nielsen were Tavares’ alternate captains the past three seasons — while integrating three veterans in Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and PA Parenteau.
Oh, and there’s another wrinkle: When players come to Long Island for physicals on Sept. 21, the captain, the coach and the two most experienced goaltenders won’t be around.
From NHL.com's Joe Yerdon:
NHL.com is providing in-depth roster, prospect and fantasy analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Buffalo Sabres.
After five straight seasons out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and three seasons of rebuilding, the Buffalo Sabres have set their sights on qualifying for the 2017 postseason.
The Sabres had 81 points last season, 27 more than in 2014-15, when they had the worst record in the NHL. Although that put them seventh in the Atlantic Division, they were 12 points behind the Detroit Red Wings for a playoff berth.
Buffalo has moved onto the path to success in its rebuild but must now take the next step. To help do that, the Sabres made two big additions during the offseason.
Forward Kyle Okposo, who had 22 goals and 42 assists with the New York Islanders last season, signed a seven-year contract reportedley worth $42 million as a free agent on July 1. He will join a lineup that included skilled forwards Ryan O'Reilly, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane. Those four combined for 193 points as four of Buffalo's top five scorers; O'Reilly led with 60 (21 goals).
I now have two healthy kids, and both of them were born on Long Island. I grew up there, and bought a home and started my family there. I’ll never forget my time as an Islander. It was so special to me. Thank you so much to all the Isles fans who stuck with us through thick and thin. Your loyalty meant so much to me and the team.
The next chapter in my life begins now. I’m not the same 19-year-old kid I was when I stepped into the arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, and thankfully I don’t have the same haircut. I’ll be bringing my family to Buffalo and I’m so excited to put some roots down in the 716. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community and having my kids grow up in Western New York.
-Kyle Okposo at The Players' Tribune where you can read more from Okposo.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are going to use many tactics in their recruiting pitch to Jimmy Vesey. Kyle Okposo revealed the simplest one of all.
Tell Vesey the Sabres are going to win.
Okposo, officially introduced Thursday in Buffalo, sees good things ahead for his new organization and hopes Vesey sees it, too.
"I would tell him that we’re going to be a good team for a long time, and it’s going to be a fun organization to play in," Okposo said in First Niagara Center. "When you have the Pegulas at the helm, it’s going to be a great organization. We’re going to be contenders. That’s something that isn’t always there on teams. I know that personally. We went through a really tough stretch with the Island.
"There’s not going to be those rough times ahead. We’re going to be good."
No penalty on the play.
From the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Perhaps, it’s the calm before the storm.
The NHL trade deadline is set for Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. EST and while it will be tough to see a deal bigger than former Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf being moved to the Senators in a blockbuster Tuesday, there’s still a sense among league executives it’ll be busy enough between now and the cutoff date.
The issue right now is the market is flooded with forwards and that needs to sort itself out because nobody is sure just who will move and who won’t. Naturally, the biggest question mark is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, but the betting money is he won’t be going anywhere.
After his name, people are eyeing the likes of Carolina’s Eric Staal, Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, Boston’s Loui Eriksson, Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker, Columbus’ Scott Hartnell, Kyle Okposo of the Islanders and Tampa holdout Jonathan Drouin.
“Right now, there’s a lot of forwards out there,” said a league executive.
Sooner or later, someone has to move to set the market.
According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, NHL GM's are entering the period in which they must decide whether they're going to buy to "contend" or sell at the trade deadline, which hits on February 29th this year. That's not an easy decision to make given how tight the standings have been and will continue to remain going forward.
The focal points of trade deadline interest remain the following non-Steven Stamkos players:
Winnipeg Jets: All eyes are on captain Andrew Ladd and blueliner Dustin Byfuglien. “I don’t believe they’ll both be there after the deadline,” a league executive said Friday. The talk is the Jets tabled a six-year, $6 million deal to Ladd before the season, and that somehow the deal will get done.
Nobody is quite as optimistic about Byfuglien. He has emerged as one of the best players in the league, is a difference maker, and will cash in on the UFA market in the summer. “He’s just a hell of player,” said the executive.
St. Louis Blues: We’re not talking about a franchise with an ownership group that has deep pockets. GM Doug Armstrong has apparently put talks with centre David Backes on hold and with a $4.5 million cap hit he’s going to want a big raise if he’s going to stay with the Blues.
He could fetch a lot in return but the Blues are a contender in the West and they should be looking to add, not subtract. Teams will call but Armstrong has to tread carefully here.
New York Islanders: The sense is there won’t be any deal involving defenceman Travis Hamonic, who asked for a trade a personal reasons, until the NHL entry draft in June. A league executive said: “Garth Snow isn’t going to make this deal unless he gets good value in return.”
Teams have been calling the Isles about UFA winger Kyle Okposo, and why not? You never know where Snow is concerned, but the 27-year-old has a $2.7 million cap hit. The thinking amongst teams is he won’t be going anywhere because the Islanders are in the race and want to stay there.
Garrioch continues, addressing the Canucks, Lightning and Canadiens' situations.
from Daniel Friedman of CBS New York,
I’m not sure why people can’t seem to accept the fact or realize that Okposo is a star. Maybe it’s the toe drags or the past inconsistency that’s stuck in the collective memory of this fan base. Maybe people are trying to justify letting Okposo play elsewhere by pretending he’s not the kind of player any team would want.
Whatever the logic behind it, it’s severely flawed. All he does is produce. He’s meshed very well with John Tavares ever since the two were first united on a line together. He works hard for loose pucks in the corners and skates hard on every shift.
That might not have been good enough for USA Hockey, for some inexplicable reason, but it’s sure as heck good enough for the Islanders.
Normally, when assessing this team’s forward group, the conversation always starts with Tavares. If someone else is having a standout year, he’s the best player not named Tavares in the lineup. But through 33 games this season, Tavares hasn’t been their best forward. He’s been a tick or two behind his normal rate.
The Islanders’ best forward through 33 games has been Okposo, who has both out-produced and outplayed Tavares in just about every facet of the sport to this point.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Kyle Okposo, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $14-million contract, could be on the trading block, according to two league sources outside the Islanders' organization.
The 27-year-old wing has posted the best back-to-back seasons of his career, but Snow might not be interested in ponying up for a long-term deal for Okposo, who missed 22 games after emergency surgery to repair a detached retina in January.
Both sources indicated that nothing appears to be imminent. But with eight teams already committed to at least $63 million on a projected $71-million salary cap for 2015-16, player moves could come fast and furious during draft weekend, and Okposo's extremely modest $2.8-million cap hit could be enticing.
Snow would not discuss specific players, but he told Newsday he will be busy fielding and making trade proposals, either to move players or maneuver up the draft board with only a pair of picks among the first 100 selections at his disposal.
His first NHL hat-trick too.
According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, the New York Islanders may own the 5th overall pick in the NHL draft, but they don't plan on using it to draft an 18-year-old:
he Islanders have the fifth pick in Friday's draft and, rather than going into draft weekend looking to add to their prospect pool as in years past, Islanders general manager Garth Snow is looking to trade that pick for NHL-ready talent after an unsuccessful season.
"We're open to trading the pick for someone we think can come in and help us right away," Snow said recently.
After spending last summer plugging smaller holes and prioritizing long-term deals for his own restricted free agents, Snow clearly wants to upgrade his roster this summer. He began doing it early, trading a fourth-round pick May 1 to the Caps for the rights to goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who signed a four-year, $18-million deal three weeks later to become the presumptive No. 1 goaltender the Isles haven't had.
The Islanders still need a backup or two, with Evgeni Nabokov having turned down a one-year offer. But now Snow's main focus is using that fifth pick to find either a top-pair defenseman or a top-line left wing to play alongside John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Kyle Okposo acknowledged all the things that have been obvious to those around the Islanders this season: He’s pressing and his confidence is not where it needs to be.
And that sitting out Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Rangers was a low for him in his three-plus NHL seasons.
“I know what I have to do,” Okposo said after the team’s practice at the Coliseum today. The Islanders host the Canadiens on Thursday night. “There’s a lot of things I have to do to get going.”
He’s watched all his shifts from this miserable season so far—he’s got no goals and three assists in 14 games—as well as some tape from last season and the two seasons prior to his shoulder surgery.
NHL.com’s 30 in 30 takes a look at the New York Islanders today. The introduction to Brian Compton’s piece:
“The time is now for the New York Islanders. For a franchise that still doesn’t have a deal in place for a new building, it is imperative that the Islanders accelerate what has been a slow and steady rebuilding process and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007. GM Garth Snow believed he had assembled a playoff team last summer, then watched his top defenseman Mark Streit and power forward Kyle Okposo suffer serious shoulder injuries before the puck even dropped on the 2010-11 season.”
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, William Morrison, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brian+rolston, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, marty+reasoner, nino+neiderreiter, radek+martinek, trent+hunter, zenon+konopka
What is a captain? “A person who is at the head of or in authority over others; chief; leader.” What is a hockey captain? “A locker room leader, motivator; a medium between players and upper management; a primary representative of the team both on and off the ice.”
It is a unique situation this off-season that all three New York City metro area teams will be naming a new captain for the upcoming 2011-2012 season. The New York Rangers have the most candidates and are probably in the best situation with the most quality choices to choose from. So, we will start with the Rangers and then look at the Devils, who have both the easiest and hardest choices of the three, and finally we will look at the New York Islanders who have the youngest crop of candidates with the most potential.
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, William Morrison, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brian+rolston, frans+nielsen, ilya+kovalchuk, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, marc+staal, mark+streit, patrick+elias, ryan+callahan, zach+parise
UNIONDALE, NY, May 25, 2011 – The New York Islanders announced today that forward Kyle Okposo has agreed to terms on a five-year contract.
“I’m very excited to commit to the Islanders for the next five years, especially with the news of the new Coliseum,” Okposo said. “This team really showed its potential in the second half of the season last year and I’m excited to be a part of getting the franchise back to the playoffs.”
Okposo, 23, scored five goals with 15 assists in 38 games for the Islanders last season. The St. Paul, MN, native missed the first 44 games of 2010-11 due to a shoulder injury, which he suffered during training camp.
“Kyle has been a critical part of our young core over the past few seasons,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “He is a high character guy that brings size and a scoring touch to our lineup.”
Today’s three cheers, saluting those who deserve as much for their performances yesterday:
***Cheers to Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, whose 41 saves thwarted the efforts of his former club, the Florida Panthers en route to the first win of the season for the Canucks. Luongo’s .973 save percentage through his club’s first two games is hardly anything to scoff at and his quick start is a great sign for a Canucks team with extremely high hopes for the season. As for Florida, 42 shots on goal are great but three goals through two games won’t get the job done and that sort of paltry offensive production could be exactly what keeps the Panthers from succeeding this season. Tomas Vokoun can only keep opponents at bay to a certain extent.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: blake+comeau, darroll+powe, james+wisniewski, jeff+carter, john+tavares, josh+bailey, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, roberto+luongo, tomas+vokoun
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexei+yashin, david+hale, derek+stepan, fabian+brunnstrom, guy+boucher, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, mike+milbury, radim+vrbata, ryan+miller, steve+downie, todd+fedoruk
via Katie Strang tweet,
Kyle Okposo requires surgery on injured right shoulder, ruled out indefinitely
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
Go ahead. Call Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf a coward for refusing to drop the gloves in the aftermath of his vicious open-ice hit that sent New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo to hospital.
Tell Phaneuf he violated the unwritten NHL code by declining the many challenges to fight from Okposo’s teammates.
People have the right to their own opinions, Phaneuf said. But so does he.
“I felt it was a clean hit,” Phaneuf said Friday, a day after he laid out Okposo during the Flames’ 5-4 pre-season win over the Islanders. “That’s part of my game. I have to play that way.”
from Katie Strang of Isles Files at Newsday,
Thankfully Kyle Okposo is OK. He has a mild concussion and was cleared by doctors to fly back with the team on the charter to Saskatoon.
Okposo was the victim of a vicious open-ice hit from Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. I’ve watched the replay several times, and if I were Okposo or his teammate I would not be happy. Phaneuf left his feet on impact, catching Okposo with a shoulder to the head as Okposo was looking down, rendering him completely defenseless.
note: Video was changed at 8:02am since it was better quality than the one that was posted.
added 8:10am, from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
If you crumple a player with a clean check, are you on the hook to accept the first challenge that comes your way?
Is that part of the code? Hit big, then get ready to scrap all comers?
Katie Strang, Islanders beat writer for Newsday, on her Twitter,
Very scary moment: Kyle Okposo jsust got leveled in open ice by Dion Phaneuf. He’s on his back now and they are bringing out the stretcher.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday.com:
When everyone looks back on it, this Islanders season might not seem a total loss after all. Aside from possibly helping them ace the draft lottery, 2008-09 looks from here as if it will be remembered as the season Kyle Okposo really earned his NHL sweater, and a USA Olympic jersey.
It is not too early to think about Okposo’s future, which looks brighter by the day. It definitely is not too early to think about next February and the Vancouver Winter Games.
From the AP via SI,
Okposo graciously greeted Sillinger on Monday as he pulled off his Islanders jersey for the first time after practice. Two years after he was chosen by New York with the No. 7 pick in the draft, Okposo is set to make his NHL debut Tuesday night when the host Islanders face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“You’re going to be 20 in April, right?’’ Sillinger asked. “Yup, I’m 19,’’ the reply quickly came.
“I’m 37,’’ the veteran of 17 NHL seasons said with a laugh. “I could be your dad. I’ve got a kid who’s 15.’‘
And with that, Sillinger - recovering from recent hip surgery that ended his season - walked away. In a season that has quickly unraveled for the Islanders, Okposo is providing something for the franchise to look forward to.